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On 16 September we honoured the memory of Georgy Gongadze and all murdered journalists

17.09.2006 |

On the capital’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti [Independence Square] at 19.00 around one and a half thousand people holding candles and placards with the names of the 38 journalists killed and the message: “Yushchenko, where are those who ordered Gongadze’s killing”  What’s next?”, formed a circle which steadily grew At 19.45 in six different places of the circle megaphones were used to read out the names of all 38 journalists whose murders have never been properly investigated. This was followed by ten minutes silence (last year this was for 5 minutes, however then we expected that in a year’s time such actions would be unnecessary since Georgy’s murder would have been solved).

After 10 minutes silence, a banner was unfurled reading: “38 killed. Investigated?” and the procession set off towards the President’s Secretariat on Horodetsky Street. Near the entrance to the Head of State’s residence, the participants marked out GIYA [as friends knew Georgy] with candles and left placards. The banner was placed on the steps, together with candles. The walls of the Secretariat and Bankova Street had plaques stuck on them reading “Georgy Gongadze Street”.

Unlike last year, none of the officials came out to the procession.

The action was held without any party or organization emblems by ordinary individuals for whom Gongadze’s memory was not a means of gaining political mileage or manipulative games around the death of the journalist.

It was the officials that organized a meeting, with smaller numbers but lavishly embellished with party banners, at the intersection of the Tarashch and Cherniny Roads at the symbolic grave of Georgy laid on 21 May 2001 (on the journalist’s birthday) by activists of the Committee “For the Truth”..  At the gathering people stood shoulder to shoulder who are now irreconcilable enemies. However, unfortunately one cannot say that the dead Georgy Gongadze united them all. It’s just that these days the political climate demands participation in such gatherings.
There were speeches which suggested that today absolutely all political forces are intent on solving Georgy’s murder, and that none of those in power are placing any obstacles in the way of the investigation. It’s just not clear why these words are not backed with real actions.

For the first time since the tradition of honouring the memory of Georgy Gongadze  on 16 September began, the vast majority of the participants in the “evening” action ignored the “morning” action so as not to stand together with politicians. For those who came out onto the street in the evening are not full of optimism and have an opposite view to the course of the investigation that those who attended the morning gathering.

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