Ukrainian journalists Victor Orel has gone on hunger strike protesting against falsification of parliamentary election results
Victor Orel, a Ukrainian journalists from Dnipropetrovsk, has gone on hunger strike for 5 days protesting against falsification of parliamentary election results
With this protest he also appealed to the USA and Europe, who had to be more demanding to the actions of Ukrainian authorities
Victor Orel, 30 years old, started hunger-striking on November, 12, 2012, when Central Election Commission announced the election results without taking into consideration numerous proves of observers about falsifications during elections. The last straw to the protest was the arrest of the journalist during the Opposition protest meeting against such actions.
I was indignant by the fact that a peaceful action was dispersed by force and a journalist, without any reason, was handcuffed and taken to the police office. One more reason of my hunger-striking was a desire to support Yulia Tymoshenko, a leader of the Opposition, who was also starving.
The reason of hunger-striking a journalist from Dnipropetrovsk names to overcome the apathy of the society and draw public attention to the facts of falsification of election results.
I have chosen such action to make people think what to do next, because in our everyday run for bread we forget that our life is not only material things, but it is also higher ideals, such as freedom, spirit and, all in all, an independent state.
Among the proves of falsifications during elections Victor Orel names substantial difference (over 10%!) in favour of the pro-governmental party in contrast to the results of exit polls and voting in of the districts in Dnipropetrovsk region.
According to the results of our research, “Batkivshchyna” Party had 27%, the Communist Party had 22%, the Party of Regions had 14%, “Udar” Party had 11% and “Svoboda” Party had 5%. All these results coincided with the official data within a statistical error and only the Party of Regions turned out to have 12% more, i.e. 26%. I think that it became possible due to the voting at home and in prison, which is included into this constituency. There over 95% of imprisoned voted for the Party of Regions, though during the last elections their voices were equally divided between Yanukovych and Tymoshenko.
Despite the fact that the authority in no way reacted to the journalist's hanger-striking, he thinks that this action has not passed in vein.
It was an appeal to the conscience of not only Ukrainian society, but of the Western World as well. We had to show the European community our attitude to falsifications. European community should be more demanding and strict with the Ukrainian Government, because Ukrainian society is anyway powerless and put in the corner. Thus, it is doubtful that it will be able to rebel against the authority. Europe and the USA should support the attempts of Ukrainians to live in a democratic country, because our young democracy can not manage it by itself without their support.
Victor Orel says that during his hunger-striking he saw the readiness of many Ukrainians to unite in order to fight against illegal actions that, according to the journalist, are done by the authority.
This support inspired me and I felt that I partially completed my mission: the society paid attention to this problem.
During August-September Victor Orel participated in trainings Bloggers Against Corruption, conducted by the Institute of Mass Information with the support of Freedom House and the Embassy of Norway in Ukraine.