On April 17, the Donbas Patriotic Forces Committee made a public appeal to the international missions and organizations observing events in Donetsk Oblast. The full text of their appeal follows below.
Dear members of international missions and organizations monitoring the events in Donetsk region!
There have been many records of human rights violations and political harassment in Donetsk Oblast in recent months. Patriotic citizens cannot express their national identity freely. Most of the Ukrainian citizens supporting our country’s territorial unity live under constant emotional pressure and fear, which is intensified by informational attacks from Russia’s side.
As a recent representative opinion poll shows, a vast majority (65.7%) of Donetsk citizens are pro-Ukrainian. However, they cannot feel free and safe to express their positions, being threatened by aggressive protesters who seize administrative buildings and possess illegal weapons.
Today, April 17, 2014, the peaceful meeting Praying for Ukraine will be held at 18:00. This is the first pro-Ukrainian meeting since March 13. We, an association of non-governmental organizations, political parties, journalists, and action groups, emphasize that the absence of clear manifestations of local public activities does not mean there are no patriots in eastern Ukraine. The majority of Donetsk citizens are afraid to come out into the streets and voice their protest against separatists and invaders.
So we call on you to attend the meeting Praying for Ukraine, considering the degree of danger and human rights violations in Donetsk Oblast.
We believe that your presence at the meeting and attention to the local Donetsk patriots’ problems can be a serious contribution to the protection of human rights and democratic progress not only in Ukraine, but in the whole world.
The meeting begins at 6 pm, Peremohy Park, Shevchenko Boulevard 23.
Source: Действуем вместе Facebook page
Translated by Irina Kostyshina, edited by Robin Rohrback