“The times of Yanukovych are coming back, and now it is as dangerous to be a public activist in Ukraine as it is to be at the frontline,” says Olena Sotnyk, a member of Samopomich.
This year alone, 54 attacks on public figures have been committed in Ukraine. These are the people who are the first to oppose the clans, oligarchic structures, schemes; they are the ones posing a threat to the revanchists.
Samopomich representatives also often become victims of such attacks. Among such victims, there is Viktoriia Voitsitska, who had an explosive mixture thrown into her yard and whose case has not been yet investigated. This is also Ivan Smyrenskyi, an activist from Odesa, who had his car set on fire in his own yard.
Olena Sotnyk notes, “The investigation of all these attacks almost never brings any results. This means that state bodies are turning a blind eye to these cases and are actually helping the criminals to destroy the activist movement; to destroy those who are brave enough to demand changes in the country.”
“Samopomich” constantly draws attention of the authorities to the impunity of criminals and the inaction of law enforcement.
“Those who defend our demands for justice and honesty are being pressurised. We, as politicians, must protect them,” urges Olena Sotnyk.
That is why Samopomich Union joins the appeal of the civil society representatives. Together with others, it insists on a prompt and effective investigation of criminal proceedings against the attacks on activists along with reporting to the public on every stage of the investigation; on the Minister of Internal Affairs’ public report on the status of the investigation of these cases from the rostrum of the Verkhovna Rada and the inclusion of this issue on the agenda at the next plenary meeting; on the creation of a parliamentary temporary investigation commission on the attacks against civil activists in 2017-2018 with the participation of the civil society representatives in it.
The civil society deserves protection from those elected to represent the people.