26 April 2013
UWC President encourages Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights to address pressing issues in Ukraine and Russia
On 24 April 2013, Ukrainian World Congress (UWC) President Eugene Czolij met in Strasbourg, France, with the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muiznieks, to discuss the status of human rights in Ukraine, as well as the national minority rights of Ukrainians in Russia.
The UWC President emphasized the continued concerns with respect to selective justice in Ukraine and, specifically, the continued imprisonment of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
On the issue of national minority rights, the UWC President highlighted the cases of two well-known Ukrainian NGOs in Russia that were unjustifiably liquidated. In addition, Eugene Czolij indicated that the first attempt of the very large Ukrainian national minority in that country to register a new national body was rejected by Russian authorities.
The UWC President requested that the Commissioner for Human Rights closely monitor the issue of selective justice in Ukraine and the pressure exerted by Russian authorities on NGOs.
During the meeting, the Commissioner for Human Rights noted that he follows the human rights situation in Ukraine and that he will participate in a roundtable discussion there in May. He also made reference to his recent visit to Russia and his monitoring of the situation of NGOs.
"I call upon Ukraine's governing authorities to end selective justice, including in the internationally-known case of Yulia Tymoshenko. It is crucial for the Commissioner for Human Rights to witness positive developments in this area during his May trip to Ukraine. I also welcome the Commissioner's monitoring of the situation in Russia and hope that our Ukrainian minority will soon be able to register a national NGO there," stated Eugene Czolij.
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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 33 countries and ties with Ukrainians in 14 additional countries. Founded in 1967 as a non-profit corporation, the UWC was recognized in 2003 by the United Nations Economic and Social Council as a non-governmental organization (NGO) with special consultative status.