IRF statement against the violent police attack on the peaceful assembly of Euromaidan

On November 30 the troops of riot police, Berkut, violently dispersed the peaceful Euromaidan in the Independence Square

The Euromaidan peaceful rally brought together many thousands of citizens in support of Ukraine’s European choice. It accumulated the people’s belief in the need to sign the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union.

Euromaidan emerged when the government halted the preparation of signing of the Association Agreement in Vilnius at the Eastern Partnership Summit on November 28-29, 2013.

Euromaidan, ultimately a people’s convention in its form and essence, was an exclusively peaceful, tremendously massive assembly of active citizens, representatives of non-governmental organizations, youth and students. The assembly, initiated by a group of civic activists, became known in Ukraine and globally as Euromaidan. It was a democratic Maidan that stood under the Ukrainian national and European banners and had done its best to keep distance from politicians of all colors.

We state that there was not – and we stress, none at all – legal reason to terminate the Euromaidan. As a peaceful assembly it, no doubt, was subject to protection. Having emerged at the time of Ukraine’s independence, the International Renaissance Foundation has always regarded building a dialogue between the civil society and the public authorities as its major objective and achievement. The Foundation’s staff and members of its Board are recognized experts who served as members of the Constitutional Assembly of Ukraine, the Coordination Council at the President of Ukraine, multiple public councils to the executive authorities. Such dialogue was instrumental for making important elements of the democratic transition rooted in practice.

This was the reality before this morning. Today any possible dialogue between the government and the society has been broken by blood of peaceful citizens. After the brutal crackdown on Euromaidan we state that collaboration with the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the President and his Administration is deeply immoral and, therefore, unacceptable.

All representatives of the International Renaissance Foundation have terminated such collaboration. Carrying on its mission to promote the development of an open democratic society in Ukraine, the Foundation reserves the right to restore collaboration only after all those guilty of the crime against the participants of Euromaidan will be prosecuted, and the public authorities genuinely commit to the non-use of violence against all those who practice their inalienable right to peaceful assembly.

Oleksandr Sushko, Chairman of the Board
Yevhen Bystrytsky, Executive Director

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