Yurii Sheliazhenko, conscientious objector, pacifist, human rights defender and the Executive Secretary of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, has been placed under partial house arrest in Kyiv on 15th August, 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.
Yurii Sheliazhenko is a prisoner of conscience detained simply for peacefully expressing his genuine pacifist views, and should be immediately and unconditionally released and all the charges against him dropped. The Ukrainian authorities should respect the right to freedom of expression and stop the crackdown on Yurii Sheliazhenko and the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, which reveals their growing intolerance for dissent.
Yurii’s first trial following his partial house arrest is going to take place on 20th September, Wednesday. International solidarity is crucial for him. Support Yurii by:
- Sending your emails of protest to the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Simply copy and paste the text here on your email body, add your name/surname (and organisation if you’re affiliated with any organisation) at the end of the text and click on the send button. Please write ‘Release Yurii Sheliazhenko’ on the subject line of your email and cc email@example.com to your email.
- Organising solidarity actions in front of the Ukrainian Embassy of your country. Alongside sending emails of protest, show your support for Yurii with your nonviolent actions in front of the Ukrainian Embassies. This can be a vigil, press conference, and/or simply delivering your letters of support in person to the Ukrainian Embassy of your country.
War Resisters’ International (WRI), European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO, Connection e.V. and International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR) strongly condemn all actions of harassment and all attempts of intimidation against pacifists and conscientious objectors, including Yurii Sheliazhenko, as well as all cases of forced recruitment and even abduction of conscripts to the involved armies in the war in Ukraine, and all persecutions of conscientious objectors, deserters and non-violent anti-war protestors in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and elsewhere.
Find a background of events leading to Yurii’s partial house arrest here.