Four years without Serhiy Naboka
On 18 January 2003 Serhiy Naboka, journalist, poet, dissident, former political prisoner and human rights defender, died suddenly in Vinnytsa near the prison where he had once been held. He had been preparing material about the treatment of prisoners in Ukrainian penal institutions. He was 48.
12 January this year marked the 35th anniversary of a black day in Ukraine’s modern history. On that day, and in the days and months that followed, a large number of members of the Ukrainian intelligentsia were arrested, and a systematic attempt made to crush all independent thinking in Ukraine.
Just before this anniversary in 1981, which at the initiative of Viacheslav Chornovil had been declared the Day of Ukrainian Political Prisoners, Serhiy Naboka and four other people attempted to distribute leaflets reading: “Fellow Citizens! The twelfth of January is the Day of Ukrainian Political Prisoners. Let us support them!”
Arrest and retribution came swiftly. Serhiy Naboka was sentenced under Article 187-1 of the Criminal Code of the Ukrainian SSR (“dissemination of patently false statements defaming the Soviet political and social system”) to 3 years deprivation of liberty.
Radio Svoboda gives the following tribute to Serhiy Naboka who was a regular author on its program “Human Rights”;
“During one of his broadcasts he said: “Dissidents are people who are fairly specific in any time and under any political system. They are usually people with a heightened sense of personal duty, with an extremely loud inner voice, that is, conscience, and with certain ideas and ideals”
It is just such a person that Radio Svoboda’s listeners and colleagues knew in Serhiy Naboka” (www.radiosvoboda.org)
A fuller biography can be found at: http://archive.khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1142680582