Strasbourg, 17.01.2014 - The co-rapporteurs for Ukraine of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Mailis Reps (Estonia, ALDE) and Marietta de Pourbaix-Lundin (Sweden, EPP/CD), today expressed their deep concern about the anti-protest laws and laws in particular restricting the work of Civil Society organisations and free flow of information that were adopted by the Verkhovna Rada yesterday under reportedly very questionable procedures.
“These laws run counter to the principles of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and manifestation, as well as freedom of the media, and are quite frankly clearly undemocratic. The enactment of these laws will only entrench the Euromaidan protests and increase the tension between authorities and opposition. As a result, a peaceful and democratic solution to the current political crisis seems further away than ever. This cannot have been the objective of the authorities”, the co-rapporteurs said.
“For that reason, we urge President Yanukovich not to sign these laws into force and to seek a negotiated solution to the political stand-off”, they concluded.
The rapporteurs will visit Ukraine mid-February, following the upcoming plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly.