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Human Rights, Democracy in Ukraine Focus of Helsinki Commission Hearing

WASHINGTON – The United States Helsinki Commission will conduct a hearing to examine the current status of human rights and democracy in Ukraine and the role of the United States in assisting Ukraine’s development as an independent, market-oriented democracy in the face of the current political crisis.

“Ukraine at the Crossroads: Ten Years After Independence”
Wednesday, May 2, 2001
9:30 – 11:30 AM
334 Cannon House Office Building

Scheduled to testify:
Yevhen Marchuk, Chairman of the National Security and Defense Council and former Prime Minister of Ukraine
Jon Purnell, Deputy to the Acting Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for the New Independent States
Adrian Karatnyky, President, Freedom House, author of “Meltdown in Ukraine,” current issue of Foreign Affairs
Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., Research Fellow, Russian and Eurasian Studies, The Heritage Foundation

Secretly recorded audio tapes revealed in November have seemingly implicated Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma in the case of missing investigative journalist Heorhiy Gongadze, presumed dead.

These developments have heightened concerns about Ukraine’s commitment to the consolidation of human rights, democracy and the rule of law against the backdrop of pervasive corruption and a resistance to political and economic reforms.

The United States earlier this month granted political asylum to one of Kuchma’s body guards Mykola Melnychenko, who produced the tapes. The United States also granted asylum to Gongadze’s wife, Myroslava, and their twin daughters.

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