The renowned social activist, former dissident and political prisoner Yevhen Sverstiuk supported the young people’s protest.
He took part in a recent rally in support of Dmytro Pavlychenko, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment, and his eldest son Serhii Pavlychenko, who had been sentenced to 13 years in prison.
“Some social activists invited me to this rally,” Sverstiuk says. “In fact, they planned it as an intergenerational human rights event. The protest brought together a few hundred of young people who made a very good impression on me. These are active youths who have a common cause in this case, because they are outraged by the injustice done to their comrades. As they say, ‘all of us are like the Pavlychenkos.’ The protesters clearly trust these men, are convinced of their innocence and feel that the current trial is just an imitation of the honest resolution of this issue. It is a very important point, and we should support the young people rallying around this issue. I am impressed by their initiative. Let this be the first push. Of course, it is up to the court to determine guilt and innocence, but the court must be aware of the public scrutiny of its proceedings and the presence of these young people who are demanding justice. I came there not on behalf of the ‘December 1’ Initiative Group or some other entity, but in my personal capacity, wishing to express solidarity. Of course, the protest participants did not receive me with a standing applause, but they were generally sympathetic and attentive. I think that such meetings with young people, whatever the occasion, are important to ensure that they are concerned with various public and moral issues.”