Taras Klish Auckland 0

A Call to New Zealand Government for Immediate Action on Crisis in Ukraine

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Rt Hon John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand,

Rt Hon David Carter, Speaker of the House of Representatives of New Zealand,

Hon Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand,

Hon Michael Woodhouse, Minister of Immigration New Zealand

Re: A Call for Immediate Action on Crisis in Ukraine

We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of New Zealand, including of Ukrainian heritage, call to the Government and the House of Representatives of New Zealand for immediate action on the crisis in Ukraine.

This crisis has started after a violent attack of the Ukrainian special police force, with a clear excess of force on peaceful protesters, who were protesting against the sudden abandonment of Ukrainian Government and the President of a nearly signed Agreement of Free Trade and cooperation between Ukraine and the EU (known as Euromaidan) on November 30, 2013.

For more than 2 months hundreds of thousands of protesters have been peacefully rallying in major cities of Ukraine, demanding closer European integration, the resignation of the Ukrainian Government, and highlighting numerous facts of corruption among high level Ukrainian officials. Although it appeared that Ukrainian authorities were not only totally ignoring the demands of protesters, but on occasion tried to use excessive force to stop the rallies. On the other hand, protests in Ukraine gained a worldwide understanding and support from the members of the general public as well as the officials of the EU and the U.S.

Still not responding to any of the protesters and opposition demands, on January 16th the Parliament and the President of Ukraine, with numerous violations in the procedure, ratified and signed into law a group of so-called “dictatorship laws”. These are a group of ten laws restricting freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, as well as providing amnesty to those, who on November, 30, carried out the violent suppression of the peaceful protest.

Today, despite of numerous concerns and warnings expressed by the European Union and the U.S. politicians and officials, the unacceptable anti constitutional behaviour of Ukrainian authorities continues. This includes actual co-operation between the authorities and paid armed thugs in kidnapping of protesters from hospitals, torturing of protest activists, alleged attacks on reporters, smashing of vehicles and organising a civil disorder, using of illegal weapons by the riot police, which has already led to at least one death.

As the crisis in Ukraine deepens, the imposition of the U.S., Canadian and the E.U. sanctions on Ukraine officials becomes more and more likely. Just recently “Citibank”, “UBS”, “Credit Suisse” and “Deutsche Bank” in the U.S. have started their own investigations on money laundering schemes by direct family members of top Ukrainian officials. Therefore, if New Zealand will stay aside, there is a high possibility of attempts of current Ukrainian officials, their families and associates to shift the money, effectively stolen from the Ukrainian budget, to New Zealand by means of investment into property or the like as well as to seek residency through Investor or Retirement immigration categories. We call to prevent this from happening as well.

We support the Ukrainian World Congress (the international coordinating body for Ukrainian communities in the diaspora representing the interests of over 20 million Ukrainians) and members of Ukrainian Association of New Zealand calls for action in order to help resolve the crisis.

Therefore we call upon to the New Zealand Government and the New Zealand House of Representatives to immediately:

(i) condemn the illegitimate adoption on January, 16th, of authoritarian anti protest laws in Ukraine

(ii) incite Ukraine's governing authorities to repeal these repressive laws

(iii) call on Ukraine's governing authorities to prosecute those responsible for all gross human rights violations related to peaceful protests on Ukraine's Euromaidans

(iv) notify Ukraine’s governing authorities that individual sanctions will be imposed on those responsible for blatant violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms

(v) adopt New Zealand laws akin to the U.S. Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act and the proposed U.S. Global Human Rights Accountability Act.

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