UKRAINIAN INITIATIVE GROUP FOR THE RELEASE OF PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE

 205113.11.2006

The “Ukrainian Initiative Group for the Release of Prisoners of Conscience” was a civic organization founded in August 1987 by six former political prisoners (Vasyl BARLADYANU, Ivan HEL, Mykhailo HORYN, Zoran. POPADYUK, Stepan KHMARA and Viacheslav CHORNOVIL). Their statement about the formation of the group stressed that the release of a part of the prisoners of conscience would not remove the causes of conflict of the individual with the state, and that this could stop the state’s proclaimed movement towards democratization of political and social life. The group was led by M. HORYN.

The Initiative group turned to the government of the USSR with calls to release all political prisoners, to remove from the Criminal Code anti-constitutional articles on the basis of which dissidents were being repressed, and also to rehabilitate all Ukrainian political prisoners and to pay them appropriate compensation.

The Group merged into the Inter-Nation Committee of Political Prisoners and its work received coverage in the Russian, Ukrainian and Armenian informal press. The Group took part in preparing an International Public Seminar.

After the release of the last political prisoner, B. KLYMCHAK in 1990, the Group disbanded.

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