#Ukraine: An appeal for support from peace activists
On the eve of violent conflict which will lead to the downing of flight MH17, a plea for support from peace activists in Ukraine was forwarded to South West MEPs. It reminded them of the many times I’d approached them over the years:
Tuesday 4 February 2014
Dear Sir Graham Watson, Julie Girling, William (The Earl of) Dartmouth
and Trevor Colman,
May I remind you of earlier communications regarding our work in Ukraine on a strategy for microeconomic development and social enterprise in Ukraine known as A ‘Marshall Plan’ for Ukraine. It described the application of business for social benefit, particularly children who are institutionalised and greatly neglected. It would be better known today as social impact investment.
The shared financial investment of 1.5 billion dollars with full cost recovery, would have been precisely one tenth of what Russia has paid to keep Ukraine within its sphere of influence.
In December 2008 it was submitted as a proposal for the EU Citizens Consultation.
In February 2009 it was an issue raised with MEPs Caroline Jackson, Glyn Ford and Piers Merchant.In September 2011, again with Sir Graham Watson, Trevor Colman, William (Earl of) Dartmouth and Julie Girling
As you know Ukraine is now in a state of civil conflict and I would like to bring you up to date with recent developments A few weeks ago an international group of academics called on their governments to support a ‘Marshall Plan’ strategy for Ukraine.
At Davos, in a panel discussion chaired by Tony Blair, the crisis in Ukraine opened a discussion on social business which included Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Muhammad Yunus.
On Saturday in Munich at a meeting with US Secretary of State, John Kerry, opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenuk called on US support for a ‘Marshall Plan’ for Ukraine.
We learned this week from Catherine Ashton that the EU and US are working on a plan to support Ukraine.
Finally the NGO Maidan who assisted our work on the ‘Marshall Plan’ and discovered the body of my deceased colleague, published an open letter requesting the support of MEPs
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
The severe situation of Ukraine is a direct consequence of the systematic crime of the Yanukovych regime. The nation suffers from the serious violations of human rights, abuse of power by authorities and heavy corruption. On 16 January 2014, the government demonstrated obedience to the regime and even legalized abuse, torture and murder.
People in Ukraine bravely stand up for their rights, fighting state terror and often fall victim to it. The official, far incomplete list of kidnapped, beaten, tortured, arrested and murdered people, among them journalists and politicians, already numbers thousands. In addition to deploying thousands of police to suppress resistance, the regime also cooperates with groups of anonymous bandits who brutally attack “suspected” demonstrators and even random people in the streets.
Many organizations including Transparency International, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have sharply criticized the actions of the government and protested against the massive human rights violations in Ukraine.
President Yanukovych has not taken any steps towards a real dialog with the opposition and protestors; he only accepts the language of power and money. He and his close associates embody impunity, corruption and severe abuse of power. In order to put an end to the despotism in Ukraine, the corrupt structures must urgently be deprived of power.
We kindly ask you to urgently get active especially with regards to the
1. Release and full rehabilitation of all political prisoners: Demand that unlawfully arrested people are immediately released. Without justification they are kept in so called “isolators” which have worse conditions than the Soviet Union labour camps; each day of waiting brings affected people irrevocable harm. Additionally, many of them are injured and need urgent medical help.
2. Assist in restoring justice: Support a proper investigation of the cases of imprisonment, kidnapping, torture and murder. Those who instructed the bashing of peaceful demonstrators have to be punished.
Do not allow the Yanukovych regime to escape punishment for the thousands of victims of its terror. Help to establish nonpartisan and trustworthy courts.
3. Initiate immediate medical aid for the victims: Assist in providing proper medical aid. International assistance is required and may be carried out via the United Nations and Red Cross. Also, help to protect injured protestors from being kidnapped and arrested in the hospitals.
4. Introduce targeted sanctions especially to stop money laundering: Prohibit that banks continue operations with the Yanukovych regime and associated people until further notice, especially until clear evidence is provided, that the assets are not stolen. Freeze or help to freeze their personal and their related enterprises’ bank accounts and assets. Withdraw visa granted to them and stop them from residing in foreign locations. Consider further targeted sanctions
5. Assist the democratic process: Be present in the Ukraine, witness, enter into dialogue with representatives of the civil society and churches, support development projects
6. Support political reforms and economic development: When the new government is in place, support Ukraine financially to get on a path of sustainable economic revival. A kind of „Marshall Plan“, can bring long-term economic benefits to Ukraine and save it from otherwise imminent long-term default.
We would like to call you to do everything in your power as a MEP to assist Ukrainians to win this vehement fight for their rights and values for which Europe stands for too. We kindly ask you to discuss these issues within the European Parliament during the discussion on Ukraine and raise them with the EU institutions, EU member states and international organisations who may assist Ukrainians in their struggle for justice, citizens’ rights and return to political and economical stability.
“Maidan Monitoring” Information Centrer, Chairman of the board,
Journalist, Member of Independent Media Trade Union
for People-Centered Economic Development
Following this letter one of the MEPs, Sir Graham Watson has spoken about the military option to defend Ukraine. This is not what we requested.
Jeremy Corbyn on the other hand is against war.