DAY OF THE UKRAINIAN POLITICAL PRISONER

 186012.11.2006

From 1975 the Day of the Ukrainian Political Prisoner, at the suggestion of Viacheslav CHORNOVIL, was observed in the political labour camps and prisons, and by people serving periods of exile, on 12 January. On the day which marked the beginning of the second wave of arrests in 1972, political prisoners issued political statements of protest against repression, human rights violations and the brutality of the regime, and announced one-day hunger strikes. The camp administration sought out pretexts for punishing those who took part in such hunger strikes. From 1983 the refusal to eat was treated as an infringement of the regime for which you could be punished. As a sign of solidarity Ukrainians were supported by political prisoners from other national groups.

On the evening of 11 January 1981 the members of the Kyiv Democratic Club S. NABOKA, L. Lokhvytska, I. Chernyavska, L. Milyavsky and N. Parkhomenko pasted up around Kyiv several copies of a leaflet reading: “Fellow citizens! 12 January is the Day of the Ukrainian Political Prisoner. Support them!” They were all detained near the metro station “Bolshevik”, and the first four were imprisoned.

In independent Ukraine this date is observed by former political prisoners.

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