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UNAC’s Statement to the U.N. Human Rights Committee

Statement to the U.N. Human Rights Committee
in support of an investigation into the events of May 2, 2014, in Odessa, Ukraine

We the undersigned representatives of human rights organizations in the United States respectfully appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to initiate an investigation into the massacre of 46 democracy protesters that took place May 2, 2014, in the city of Odessa, Ukraine.
We are making this request in support of the relatives, friends and supporters of the deceased who today are asking you for such an investigation.
According to widely published reports, protesters opposed to the February 2014 coup that overthrew Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had set up a symbolic tent city in Odessa’s Kulikovo Square, in front of the five-story Trade Unions House. On May 2, thousands of right-wing soccer fans, whipped up by procoup activists, attacked and burned the tent city, driving the much smaller group of protesters into the union building. The mob then set the building on fire. Forty-six people died from burns, smoke inhalation, gunfire and beatings. Many more were wounded. It was the worst case of violence in Odessa in many decades.
Ever since the massacre, representatives of the families of those who died have held weekly vigils to honor the memory of their loved ones. Many of these memorials have been harassed by pro-coup groups, who now are threatening to attack a major second anniversary memorial being planned for May 2, 2016.
The family members and their supporters are today asking your committee to initiate a long-overdue impartial investigation into the events of May 2, 2014. For their part, the pro-coup forces are expressing their opposition to such an investigation. This contradiction alone should make clear which side wants the truth revealed and which side wants it to remain hidden.
The tragedy of Odessa and the continuing danger of right-wing violence in that beautiful city is of growing concern among human rights organizations in the United States. We urge you to initiate the investigation that is being requested so that the truth of the events of May 2, 2014, can be revealed once and for all.
It is our fervent hope that such truth-telling can help prevent such horrors in the future, especially during the second anniversary memorial being planned for May 2.
Abayomi Azikiwe — Editor, Pan-African News Wire; Organizer, Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice
Judith Bell — Member, Administrative Committee, United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
Ana Edwards — Virginia Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project
Bruce Gagnon — International Coordinator, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Jaribu Hill — Director, Mississippi Workers’ Center for Human Rights
Margaret Kimberley — Editor & Senior Columnist, Black Agenda Report
Marilyn Levin — Co-Coordinator, United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
Joe Lombardo — Co-Coordinator, United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
Jeff Mackler — Director, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal; Former Independent Candidate, U.S. Senate, California
Ray McGovern — Former CIA Analyst

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