Washington,  March 14, 2018 —  In response to the recent attacks against peaceful protesters commemorating International Women’s Day in Kyiv, Lviv, and Uzhgorod, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“The attacks on peaceful gatherings marking International Women’s Day in Ukrainian cities and authorities’ failure to respond is deeply disturbing,” said Marc Behrendt, director for Europe and Eurasia programs at Freedom House. “Instead of protecting citizens from violence and investigating those responsible, the prosecutor in Kyiv has charged the organizer of the Kyiv assembly with inappropriately using state symbols. The authorities should swiftly investigate all instances of violence against peaceful demonstrators, ensure demonstrators’ safety and protection, and hold accountable those responsible for violence.”

Ukraine is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2018, Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2017, and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2017 and receives a democracy score of 4.61, on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 as the worst possible score, in Nations in Transit 2017.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights. www.freedomhouse.org