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24.11.2006

Yushchenko calls for penalties against denial that Holodomor took place

   

Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko considers discussion as to the need to introduce administrative liability for denial of Holodomor 1932-1933 to be quite empty.

He spoke of this during the opening of the exhibition of declassified documents from the SBU [Security Service] archives “Rossekrechena pamyat” [“Memory declassified”].

The President stated that in the draft law which he submitted to the Verkhovna Rada liability is envisaged for denial that Holodomor took place in Ukraine.

He noted that a number of politicians and public figures had begun a debate, suggesting that such liability should not be added. President Yushchenko stated that this was an “empty discussion”. He added that in many countries there is even criminal liability with possible prison sentences of up to 15 years where people have tried to claim that the Holocaust did not take place. “And we in Ukraine are discussing whether it is worth talking about administrative liability”.

He once again called on all Ukrainian politicians to support the draft law on recognizing Holodomor 1932-1933 to have been an act of genocide against Ukrainians. He called on them to “get up off their knees”. He said that during Holodomor in Ukraine 10 million innocent people had perished, which was more than during the Second World War.

On 2 November Viktor Yushchenko submitted a draft law “On Holodomor 1932-1933 in Ukraine” for the Verkhovna Rada’s consideration, asking that it be treated as a matter of urgency. The draft law proposes recognizing that Holodomor 1932-1933 in Ukraine was an act of genocide of the Ukrainian people. It was also proposed that public denial of Holodomor be prohibited and that administrative liability for this be imposed.  On 16 November Viktor Yushchenko called on State Deputies of Ukraine with a call to support this draft law.

On 17 November the Verkhovna Rada deferred consideration of the draft law.

 [As already reported, they did not heed either this call or that of three major Churches in Ukraine, and preferred to discuss “miscellaneous items” on the agenda.  - PL]

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