Ukraine: Football and music against the chopping of Gorky Park

by Green Front, Youth Human Rights Group Kharkiv and Youth Human Right Movement

The NGOs "Green Front", "Youth Human Rights Group - Kharkiv" and International Network "Youth Human Right Movement" are organising a soccer tournament and a music concert in the city of Kharkiv (Ukraine) to protest against the cutting down of a large part of Gorky Park.

The NGOs "Green Front", "Youth Human Rights Group - Kharkiv" and International Network "Youth Human Right Movement" are organising a soccer tournament and a music concert in the city of Kharkiv (Ukraine) on Saturday, October 2 2010.

The event is the occasion to protest against the cutting down of a large part of Gorky Park, the biggest city-park in Ukraine, to make room for the construction of a 2012 UEFA European Football Championship highway.

Several local associations, among which “We are Kharkovites” and Ecological Group “Pechenegi”, and regular citizens have been occupying the ground around Gorky Park since May 19, 2010 in order to prevent the cutting down of trees to continue. Shamingly, civil activists have suffered numerous beatings from the local police forces (many are available on YouTube).

According to a report made by "Green Front", "Youth Human Rights Group - Kharkiv" and International Network "Youth Human Right Movement" and FLARE Network's Kiev desk, local authorities have no right over the construction of any facilities on the ground where Gorky Park lies.

Read the report (pdf, 9.6 Mb)

Read the press release of the European Green Party (pdf, 40 Kb)

Read the press release of the Italian association UISP (Italian Union Sports for All)

UEFA has been warned about the situation and the director of EURO 2012 Martin Callen sent a letter to the Ukrainian Government last August.

At this very moment, the protests continue and no clear light has been shed over a case that showed much controversy, human rights violations and suspicions of corruption.

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