Ukraine - ALDE Party calls on Yanukovich to respect freedom of speech | ALDE Party

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ALDE Party press release

The ALDE Party strongly condemns the latest developments in Ukraine where President Yanukovich continues to abuse power against its own people and in introducing a bill to prohibit any kind of demonstration against the government continues to deprive Ukrainians from their most basic civic rights. 

Liberals across Europe have continuously called for the leadership to listen to their citizens and allow the Ukrainian people to express their free will to seek further engagement with Europe rather than finding isolation from the free world. 

The series of bills, adopted this week, includes a ban on unauthorised tents, stages or amplifiers in public places and criminal responsibility for slandering government officials. Those who violate the law face an unaffordable fine for Ukrainian standards or detention. 

ALDE Party President Sir Graham Watson MEP said: "I am extremely concerned by the latest developments in the Ukraine. The freedom of speech and the freedom to protest are two fundamental rights that should be enjoyed by all citizens in democracies and respected by those who are elected as leaders". 

"I call on President Yanukovich to respect the voices of his citizens. The opposition has called for further demonstrations to take place this Sunday and they have our support in this endeavour.

During the Party Congress in London on 28-30 November, delegates adopted an urgency resolution on the EU-Ukraine Associate Agreement in light of the situation in Ukraine that calls on the European institutions to condemn the use of force against peaceful demonstrators in Kiev and other cities throughout the country and to stress that such “blatant disregard of the people’s will to determine their own future is unacceptable in a European country”. 

The resolution, proposed by ALDE Party member the European Party of Ukraine, was adopted overwhelmingly by delegates who expressed their concern about the escalation of violence in Kiev.

Note to Editors

The ALDE Party Bureau met today 18 January 2014 in Bonn, Germany ahead of the FDP European Congress where President Sir Graham Watson will deliver a speech.

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