Bundestag Deputy slams authorities over Gorky Park lawlessness
With the tree-felling in Kharkiv and methods used, Ukraine will not draw nearer to the European Union. This warning was heard by Bundestag Deputy from the Greens, Viola von Kramon. The German Greens are supporting the defenders of Kharkiv’s Gorky Park.
As reported, the Kyiv city authorities have gone ahead, despite lack of permits, positive environmental impact assessment and public debate, with their destruction of a huge number of trees in the Park. They are claiming that all this is needed for a road to ease transport congestion in time for Euro 2012, although there are suspicions that there are also plans for a hotel and apartments having nothing to do with the football championship.
The problem has not only been in the illegality of the tree-felling, but in the measures used by the city authorities, with the help of the police, against protesters. Please see the appeal to the Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner here http://khpg.org.ua/en/index.php?id=1275908780 and links below for more information.
Viola von Kramon visited Ukraine at the request of the Kharkiv environmental groups “Pechenihy” and “Zeleny Front” [“Green Front”]. She heard the testimony of witnesses regarding the destruction of over two thousand trees instead of the stated 500, about violations of people’s rights, detentions and beating of activists, about two people jailed for short periods being declared prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International, as well as about the questionable treatment of the remains uncovered of German soldiers and officers buried in that place during the War.
In an interview to Deutsche Welle, Ms von Kramon said that the German Greens are always extremely critical of the destruction of green areas, however in the case of Kharkiv, there had also been outrageous violations of citizens’ rights by the local authorities. “Today it’s too late to do anything, the road has been built. All that remains is to put very hard-hitting questions before Ukraine of whether the officials consider the way the road was built to be a civilized form and whether such cases are to be expected in the future. With such methods it will be very hard for Ukraine to move closer to membership of the EU”.
Viola von Kramon stressed that she would be very carefully analyzing all material linked with the situation and would be preparing her proposals to the Bundestag and European Parliament. On behalf of her German colleagues, she promised the Kharkiv environmentalists all their support.New information from a report by Oleksandra Indyukhova at