Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Passing of a decent man

The website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group announced the tragic death of well-known human rights activist Dmytro Groysman thus:

"On 5 August our colleague, Dmytro (Dima) Groysman died of a heart attack.  He was 41 and had suffered from a long-term heart condition.

Most prominent as Coordinator of the Vinnytsa Human Rights Group, Dima was by profession a doctor and lawyer.  In 1993 he was one of the founders of the Ukrainian section of Amnesty International. From 1994-2000 he worked as coordinator of a national campaign for the abolition of the death penalty in Ukraine. In 2000 Ukraine’s Constitutional Court agreed that the death penalty was in breach of Ukraine’s Constitution. 

In 1998 Dima founded and headed the Vinnytsa Human Rights Group which worked actively in defence of refugees, as well as on other issues.

The human rights community has lost one of its most prominent individuals, a person for whom there could be no restrictions or authorities when confronting injustice.

Dima will be much missed.

Our deepest sympathy to Dima’s wife, Svitlana Poberezhets, his son David, and those closest to him"

In 2009, Groysman was on the "Korrespondent" magazine's list of "Top 100 most influential Ukrainians" as the protector and defender of prisoners and other victims of police lawlessness.

He saved hundreds, maybe even thousands of people from the clutches of sadists and torturers in prisons and police stations. In his eloquent television appearances he always appeared level-headed and most dignified - a man the authorities therefore hated and feared.

In recent years he had been pursued by prosecutors for alleged distribution of pornography. Groysman always said law enforcement officials were out to get him was in order to gain access to the Vinnytsya Human Rights Group files on refugees and asylum seekers. [As in video, in Ukrainian]. The trafficking of human beings from Africa and elsewhere has allegedly become a big business for some members of law enforcement and Interior Ministry agencies.

Groysman had been summoned by prosecutors and investigators to attend a mind-boggling 72 questioning sessions  in connection with one supposedly pornographic image posted on his blog website [that of a small naked male doll in a state of arousal placed on a copy of the Ukrainian Constitution].

His next interrogation, the 73rd, was scheduled for August 7th. This constant police harassment, surely a major source of stress, may well have contributed to his death.

The absurd, fabricated case against him will most likely now be closed, but Groysman's friends are determined to clear his name.

In a decent country Groysman would have received awards for his humanitarian work. In Ukraine he was hounded, perhaps to his grave..

The only people to gain comfort from his passing are the thugs and sadists who run Ukraine's totally discredited and almost universally mistrusted law enforcement agencies, and the scum bags they serve.

For how long are Ukrainians going to tolerate such a situation?

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