Protest Outside the Ukrainian Embassy

Campaigners against Ukraine’s repression of communists and socialists have written to the country’s ambassador in London after being turned away from its embassy.

Led by Communist Party of Britain General Secretary Robert Griffiths, a deputation from the CPB, the World Peace Council, British Peace Assembly, Indian Workers Association and the New Communist Party was denied permission by police and embassy officials to deliver a protest letter on Tuesday (19th of January).

Dear Ambassador,

We the undersigned wish to protest in the strongest possible terms against the campaign by the authorities in your country to ban the Communist Party of Ukraine, culminating in the ruling by the Kiev District Court on December 16, 2015, that the party is an illegal organisation.

This decision against a party committed to constitutional means and the unity of Ukraine as a sovereign state is an outrageous breach of international and European human rights law. In particular, the ban breaches numerous provisions concerning people’s democratic rights to organise, demonstrate, publish and take part in normal political activities.

Not surprisingly, the anti-communist campaign in Ukraine has already been condemned by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and Amnesty International. That condemnation will be joined by a wide range of political, trade union and other voluntary bodies and individuals across Britain over the coming period, including MPs in the House of Commons in an Early Day Motion due to be tabled this week.

Many people will see the Kiev court ruling as further evidence of a resurgence of fascism in your country, understanding from history that bans on communist and socialist parties and symbols, and restrictions on advocating and publishing left-wing ideas, are invariably among the first measures promulgated by fascist regimes.

Please communicate to your government in Kiev, therefore, the growing view in Britain as elsewhere that Ukraine appears to have embarked on such a course of degeneration. Organisations committed to tolerance, civil liberties, democratic rights and peace also know from history that such developments cannot be allowed to fester without the most resolute opposition. Until the ban on the Communist Party, left-wing symbols and Marxist ideas is lifted in the Ukraine, you can expect such opposition to grow accordingly.

Yours for democracy,

Robert Griffiths
General Secretary
Communist Party of Britain

Andy Brooks
General Secretary
New Communist Party

Liz Payne
Communist Party of Britain

Navid Shomali
World Peace Council

Joanne Stevenson
British Peace Assembly

Dyal Bagri
National President
Indian Workers Association in Britain

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