PUBLIC COMMITTEE IN DEFENCE OF NINA STROKATA
The Public Committee in defence of Nina Strokata was the first attempt to create as a legal entity a human rights organization in Ukraine. After the arrest of Nina STROKATA on 6 December 1971, Viacheslav CHORNOVIL and Iryna STASIV-KALYNETS, both from Lviv, decided to create an open human rights organization in Ukraine, similar to independent associations in Moscow (the Initiative group for the defence of human rights in the USSR in Moscow and the Committee for Human Rights in the USSR). As well as the initiators themselves, the committee included Vasyl STUS from Kyiv, Leonid TYMCHUK from Odessa and Moscow human rights activist Pyotr Yakir.
The only protest action of the Committee was the issue of Bulletin No. 1 on 2 December 1971, with a statement on the creation of he Committee and a text: “Who is N.A. STROKATA (KARAVANSKA)?”. The statement stressed that the Committee was being created on the basis of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the USSR, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The aims of the Committee were declared as being “to collect facts and documents concerning the STROKATA case and to make both judicial bodies and the public aware of them, to gather signatures for an appeal in defence of STROKATA, to form a fund to assist STROKATA and her husband, the political prisoner Sviatoslav KARAVANSKY, to monitor the observance of STROKATA’s legal right to defence, to an open trial if such be held, and to an appeal if she is convicted.
On 12 January 1972 the Ukrainian members of the Committee (V. CHORNOVIL, I. STASIV-KALYNETS and V. STUS) were arrested during the second wave of arrests and the Committee’s activities were effectively stopped.