Proposals to ban entry to Western countries for those guilty of repression
Ukrainian human rights activists have appealed to western countries to ban entry to Ukrainian officials implicated in persecution and repression. The opposition factions BYUT and Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defence are planning a similar initiative. The President’s Administration has compared the formation of such blacklists “fascist methods”. A German political analyst believes the use of such measures to be premature, but does acknowledge that there is concern in Europe over the situation in Ukraine.
The Appeal to the Leaders of Democratic Countries (On levers to stem the wave of human rights infringements and political repression in Ukraine) can be read here. It is open for endorsement at: http://helsinki.org.ua/index.php?id=1307592518
Co-Chair of the Kharkiv Human Rights Group and one of the initiators of the appeal, Yevhen Zakharov believes that in Europe attention is needed to the situation in Ukraine and that those implicated in political persecution must be identified. “Such measures concern specifically those people directly involved in human rights violations. When they say that human rights observance should be taken into consideration at negotiations on a free trade zone or visa-free regime, all the country’s citizens are punished.”
According to the deputy leader of the Our Ukraine – People’s Self-Defence faction, Taras Stetskiv, his faction and BYUT, are discussing an appeal calling on the EU to ban entry to a number of high-ranking Ukrainian officials. He says a final decision will be made next week.
Whereas the human rights activists’ appeal does not name specific people, the opposition are planning to ask for entry to be blocked of the Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka, his First Deputy Renat Kuzmin, as well as a number of other officials of the Prosecutor General’s Office, and nine judges dealing with the prosecutions of opposition figures.
According to Adviser to the President, Anna Herman, the formation of such blacklists is reminiscent of “fascist” methods of segregation.
Meanwhile, German political analyst Alexander Rar believes that it is premature to apply such methods as bans on entry into EU countries to high-ranking Ukrainian officials.
“For the moment Ukrainian officials have not committed such overt crimes. When the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko and his people are not admitted into Europe, that is understandable. But the situation in Belarus cannot be compared with that in Ukraine.”
A day before the interview, the European Parliament passed a resolution expressing concern over selective justice in Ukraine. Alexander Rar says that the Ukrainian regime should treat this resolution as a signal and react properly to it, otherwise there will be inevitable difficulties in relations between Ukraine and the EU.