5 April 2016
Ukrainian World Congress President meets in The Hague with OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities
On 29 March 2016, in The Hague, Netherlands, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij met with Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) High Commissioner on National Minorities, Astrid Thors, to inform of the gross violations by Russian governing authorities of the human rights of Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars.
The UWC President highlighted the harassment of religious and ethnic groups in Russia-occupied Crimea. He also focused on the repressive actions by Russian governing authorities against the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow, the suppression of activities of the Ukrainian community in Russia, and the persecution of its activists. In this context, Eugene Czolij drew attention to the earlier introduced "patriotic stop list", designed to stop the activity in Russia of "unwanted" foreign non-governmental organizations.
On a separate note, Eugene Czolij noted the criminal prosecutions of Ukrainian political prisoners, including Nadiya Savchenko. In conjunction with this, he conveyed that the UWC has called for the adoption by the international community of a Savchenko Act which, similarly to the Magnitsky Act, would impose sanctions against Russian governing authorities that violate international law, and specifically human rights.
"Today, when Russia is waging military aggression against Ukraine, it is critical that international institutions, particularly the OSCE, continue to monitor and react to the violations of the human rights of Ukrainians," stated UWC President Eugene Czolij.
The UWC is the international coordinating body for Ukrainian communities in the diaspora representing the interests of over 20 million Ukrainians. The UWC has member organizations in 34 countries and ties with Ukrainians in 15 additional countries. Founded in 1967, the UWC was recognized in 2003 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as a non-governmental organization (NGO) with special consultative status.