European Solidarity in Verkhovna Rada decries deprivation of Honcharenko’s right to speak at PACE

Ukrainian parliamentarians from European Solidarity stated their strong protest against the restriction of freedom of speech in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which resulted in the deprivation of the right to speak of our colleague Oleksiy Honcharenko for three months.

“We draw the attention of Ukrainian foreign ministry and President Volodymyr Zelensky to the fact that although only one representative of the Ukrainian parliament was deprived of the right to speak, the whole of Ukraine suffered. The fact is that Honcharenko was punished for a speech in which he defended Ukraine, exposing and condemning the aggressor – President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

We call on the foreign ministry and the president of Ukraine to give a political assessment of the actions of the PACE leadership and appeal to the political institutions of the European Union to deprive a representative of Ukraine of the right to speak from the.

We note that the unjustified return of the Russian delegation to the PACE in 2019 has now led to a further reduction in the assembly’s democracy standards. The restriction on the freedom of speech of the Ukrainian deputy was made on the request of a member of the Russian Duma, who is still under sanctions and comes to France under a special procedure.

We demand that the PACE leadership fully restore Oleksiy Honcharenko’s right to speak and further respect the right to criticize and state a personal political position of Ukrainian MPs who are accustomed to high standards of democracy in their country.

It is unfortunate that the PACE, which previously slammed sanctions on Russia because of Putin’s actions, is now imposing sanctions on Honcharenko for his criticism of Putin.