Three of the protesters on hunger strike outside Ukrainsky Dim [Ukraine House] in Kyiv have been taken away by ambulance. The protesters are calling on all concerned members of the public to join their protest.
As reported, this new protest began on 3 July when, in the absence of the Parliamentary Speaker, and without any attempt to refine the bill passed a month earlier in its first reading, the ruling majority “passed” the highly contentious Law on the Principles of State Language. This purports to protect regional and minority languages, but is understood by all to be aimed at seriously increasing the role of the Russian language.
The civic organization Ukrainsky Dim on Friday officially called on those who care about the fate of the Ukrainian language to join their protest.
They stated that the ultimatum period they gave had ended. “By ignoring it, Viktor Yanukovych has publically demonstrated that he is not fulfilling the functions of a President and is not the Guarantor of the Constitution”.
“We believe that the language bill On the Principles of Language Policy is a smokescreen for hiding the failings of the government in the social and economic spheres, corruption, police lawlessness and repression of the media”.
On Friday evening there were 11 people on hunger strike outside Ukrainsky Dim. The protesters are generally aged 20-30 and have been on hunger strike since 7 July.
Their earlier statement of demands
The protesters who declared hunger strike outside Policy have put forward their demands.
“We, the members of a hunger strike protest against the adoption of an anti-Ukrainian and anti-State draft law on language who have come to Ukrainsky Dim solely at the call of our own hearts and in keeping with our civic convictions,
1 From President Yanukovych
that he publicly states that he will not sign the draft bill on the principles of State language policy which they are trying to palm off as an already passed law in the conditions which have now developed; that he orders the deputy factions and individual MPs subordinate to him to stop any further actions aimed at pushing the draft Law on the Principles of State Language Policy; to stop manipulating the language and other issues which threaten to divide the country on the eve of the elections;
2, From the Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Volodymyr Lytvyn
that he does not sign this anti-Ukrainian draft law
3. From the National Deputies [MPs]
that they agree to the resignations of Volodymyr Lytvyn and Deputy Speaker Mykola Tomenko and that Adam Martynyuk is dismissed from his post as First Deputy Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada;
that their votes for the draft law are withdrawn.
4. From the leaders of political parties regardless of their stated pre-election orientation:
that they stop attempts degrading civil society to gain political and election capital by smarmying up to civic protest in defence of the Ukrainian language. Your words and deeds should be in parliament, now it is we who are acting.
5. From the Committee on Regulations and Deputy Ethics
a decision to not recognize the results of the consideration of Draft Law No. 9073 “On the Principles of State Language Policy” from 3 July 2012.
If our constitutional demands are not met, we reserve the right to defend the Ukrainian language as the mainstay of the Ukrainian State and Ukrainian people through all means we deem necessary.
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