Ukraine: Stop the prosecution of Yurii Sheliazhenko

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Yurii Sheliazhenko, conscientious objector, pacifist, human rights defender and the Executive Secretary of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, will be on trial in Kyiv on 11th June, being accused of ‘justifying the Russian aggression’.

The sole “evidence” for this charge has been presented to be the Statement of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, adopted at the meeting on International Day of Peace 21 September 2022, entitled “Peace Agenda for Ukraine and the World”. What’s more, the statement explicitly condemns Russian aggression. 

Send an email of support for Yurii to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy using the template letter here

On 15th August 2023, Yurii Sheliazhenko was placed under partial house arrest by the Solomyanskyi District Court of Kyiv with the charge of “justifying” the Russian aggression, to which he publicly pledged to resist nonviolently. Since then, Yurii has been living under pressure of the Ukrainian Security Service and subjected to repeatedly extended house arrest. His computer and smartphone were seized, and despite a Court ruling have not been returned.

Yurii Sheliazhenko was defamed and detained simply for peacefully expressing his genuine pacifist views. All the charges against him should be dropped, and his seized personal effects should be returned. The Ukrainian authorities should respect the right to freedom of expression and stop the crackdown on Yurii Sheliazhenko and the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement.

Solidarity

Yurii will be on trial on 11th June, Tuesday, and international solidarity is crucial for him. Support him by sending your emails of protest to the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy using the template letter here. 

Find a statement of more than 30 organisations, including War Resisters’ International, in solidarity with Yurii here

WRI stands in solidarity with conscientious objectors to military service in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, and continues working on the #ObjectWarCampaign with our international partners Connection e.V., European Bureau for Conscientious Objection and International Fellowship of Reconciliation. 

Find more info on the #ObjectWarCampaign here.