HUNGER STRIKE ENDS, BUT PROTEST CONTINUES

18.07.12


Hunger strike end

The protesters against the language bill who have been on hunger strike for 11 days outside the Ukrayinskiy Dim in Kyiv have announced that they are ending the hunger strike but that their protest will continue in other ways.

During the hunger strike, 5 of the original protesters fell ill and experienced significant difficulties obtaining medical attention, with one being turned away from hospital and refused treatment.

The protesters thanked all those who had supported them financially and morally and pledged to carry on fighting for the language bill to be dropped. 'The first, passive phase of our protest has ended, and we are now moving towards other, more active forms of protest', said their statement. As a first step, several community organisations have joined a new co-ordinating committee - 'Ukrayinskiy Dim' - which will plan and implement protests in all regions of Ukraine.

To read more click here (Ukrainian) or here (English).

In a separate statement today, Yuriy Myroshnychenko, President Yanukovych's representative in Verkhovna Rada and member of the Party of the Regions, has said that the language bill will not harm the Ukrainian language, and that the issue is primarily about the ability to have official documents and official contacts in Russian or other languages. He said that Ukrainian would remain the state language and that the President was constantly considering how to obtain a consensus on this issue. Although the statement is emollient, one of the authors of the bill, Vadim Kolesnichenko, remains confident that there will be an extra session of parliament at the end of July and that the President will sign the bill to make it law.



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