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додано: 05-09-2002
Ukrainian students: Open Letter to the President of the United States of America

Версія до друку // Редагувати // Стерти // URL: http://maidan.org.ua/static/mai/1031250766.html

The Honorable George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We, a group of American and Ukrainian scholars, civic activists and students are writing to urge you to support the Ukrainian people in their determination to defend their rights and freedoms, endangered by the country's current regime. We hope that your Administration will make it clear to President Leonid Kuchma and other top Ukrainian officials that there can be no progress in U.S.-Ukrainian relations, or in Ukraine's relations with NATO, unless they allow freedom and democracy to flourish in their country. Ukraine can contribute to peace and stability on the European continent only if its government respects basic democratic values. Therefore, actively promoting the emergence of a truly democratic Ukraine is in U.S. vital national interests.

Today, on September 16, 2002, Ukraine commemorates two years since the disappearance of the independent journalist Georgiy Gongadze. He vanished without a trace after a series of his articles had exposed far-reaching corruption at the highest levels of Ukrainian leadership. Several months later, a former presidential security officer provided the recordings, which implicate President Kuchma and other top officials in planning the journalist's murder. The government's investigation of the crime instantly turned into a farce, since the primary suspects were also the ones overseeing the investigation.

Gongadze's brutal murder and its aftermath touched every Ukrainian in the same profound way that the terrorist attacks of September 11 affected Americans. However, while the organizers of last year's terror against the U.S. were uncovered and relentlessly pursued, the assault on the rights of freethinking Ukrainians remains unpunished. After two years of empty promises, cover-up attempts and pure inaction by the Ukrainian authorities, we come to only one conclusion – the perpetrators of Gongadze's murder, as well as of numerous other "accidental" deaths of opposition journalists and politicians, will never be found as long as Ukraine is ruled by a few unaccountable individuals bent on keeping power at all costs. The regime, which denies the people of the second largest country in Europe basic rights and human dignity, is incapable of providing justice. Therefore, we call on you to insist on its fundamental transformation, which would give way to the genuine representatives of the people’s choice.

Mr. President, in your speech in Warsaw last year you pledged to reward Ukraine's aspiration to become a European nation. The Ukrainian people all share this goal and resolutely strive to achieve it. However, they still remain separated from the rest of Europe by a wall of brutal, unchecked power exercised for the benefit of the privileged few. This wall of oppression is certainly doomed to fall for, as President Ronald Reagan affirmed while speaking at the Brandenburg Gate, “it cannot withstand faith, it cannot withstand truth, and it cannot withstand freedom.” Now is the time for America to act decisively and extend its hand to the people of Ukraine so that we together can tear down this wall!

Версія до друку // Редагувати // Стерти // URL: http://maidan.org.ua/static/mai/1031250766.html

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