Denisova: Return of Every Ukrainian is a Priority
Annually on January 12th, Ukraine marks the Day of the Political Prisoner
Photo Facebook/Liudmyla Denisova
On January 12, 1972, the Soviet regime launched the largest wave of political arrests of Ukrainian dissidents. From January 12th to the 14th, famous Ukrainian writers and poets were arrested in Kyiv and Lviv.
The repressions were among the largest in the second half of the 20th century.
“This day has been marked since 1975 at the initiative of Viacheslav Chornovol… Because three years earlier on this date, the Soviet government had carried out the so-called ‘general pogrom,’” Ukrainian Ombudsman Liudmyla Denisova wrote on Facebook on January 12, 2020.
These were mass detentions and arrests of Ukrainian dissidents, arrested for so-called “anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda.”
This day has new significance in Ukraine while the Russian authorities continue politically motivated arrests and detentions against Ukrainians and Tatars in both the occupied parts of Donbas and the illegally annexed Crimea as its Soviet predecessor did.
Due to efforts over the past six months, dozens of Ukrainian political prisoners and prisoners of war have returned to their homeland, Denisova wrote.
Hundreds of Ukrainian citizens, however, are being held in prisons in Russia and temporarily occupied territories of Donbas.
“The issue of releasing each of them is a priority for me. I will do my best to return all citizens of Ukraine to their homes,” she added.
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