• Topics / Freedom of peaceful assembly
• Topics / Environmental rights
UEFA sends Kharkiv’s Acting Mayor another letter
Martin Callen, UEFA Operations Director, has once again written to the Acting Mayor of Kharkiv, H. Kernes, over the building of a road through Gorky Park which has led to mass protest from Kharkiv residents, environmental and human rights organizations. The information agency UNIAN learned of this through sources in the Kharkiv Regional Administration. Copies of the document were apparently also sent to the Deputy Prime Minister, Boris Kolesnikov, the President of Ukraine’s Football Federation H. Surkis and the Director of Euro-2012 in Ukraine, M. Lubkivsky.
Mr Callen expresses surprise that despite repeated assurances to UEFA, the construction of the contentious road is continuing and the media are continuing to erroneously link this with Kharkiv’s preparations for Euro-2012.
He stresses that a fundamental value for UEFA is respect, and that the organization does not wish to be associated with projects which place a slur on this main principle.
He says that one of the reasons that he is writing again is a letter from Member of the European Parliament, Rebecca Kharms expressing concern at what is happening, in which she asks him to contact the Acting Mayor over the issue.
His letter stresses that it is important for Ukraine, and especially for Kharkiv, that the preparations for Euro-2012 go smoothly, without negative publicity, and that Kharkiv is under the gaze of the international community.