On Thursday, February 20th, 2014, confrontations between Ukraine’s security forces and anti-government protestors led to an estimated 70 deaths in the capital city of Kiev.
“Canada continues to be outraged by the ongoing violence in Ukraine,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement that reflects the thoughts of many Canadians. “Our government has responded by introducing a travel ban on the regime’s senior leaders and announcing medical aid to assist the protesters in their time of need.”
Mr. Babu Nagalingam, President of Canadian Human Rights Voice – one of Canada’s premier human rights bodies -commended the Prime Minister and Government of Canada for its principled response to the violent acts currently on the streets of Kiev.
“The guiding principle of CHRV is an abiding belief that violence is not the answer to human injustice. At the end of the day, it is only through mutual respect and by applying the principles of human reconciliation,- honesty, integrity and trust, that lasting conflict can be avoided.
However, it is deeply disturbing that the human rights of Ukrainian citizens are being so grievously violated in direct consequence to the public articulation of thoughts and opinions which are uncomfortable to some within the ruling regime of Ukraine. Such deliberate and systematic oppression of so basic a right as freedom of speech should not be occurring in Ukraine or anywhere else in the world.
CHRV believes that the decision taken by the Canadian Government in introducing a travel ban on Ukraine’s leaders, while simultaneously announcing that critical medical aid while be made available to those who are now made the most vulnerable by Ukrainian government-sponsored violence, is essential to protect not merely the rights… but more critically, the lives of all Ukrainians caught in the current nightmare that is Kiev.”