Friday 31 July 2009

GenocideUKraine - epetition response

We received a petition asking:

“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to recognise Ukraine’s Holodomor (Death by Hunger) on its 75th anniversary, as a Genocide against the Ukrainian nation by the Soviet Regime, as defined by the Convention on the Prevention & Punishment of the Crime of Genocide as adopted by the UN General Assembly Dec. 1948 Article 2, & demonstrated as such according to this definition (see “More details” & conformance to Convention definitions in brackets).”

Details of Petition:

“The Convention on the Prevention & Punishment of the Crime of Genocide as adopted by the UN General Assembly Dec.1948. Article 2 defines genocide as any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (Ukrainian nation). (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (Confiscating food. Causing starvation). (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (Aug. 1932 Stalin passed law stopping people taking food from collective farms. Jan. 1933 law to stop people leaving homes to find food). (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (Food confiscation, execution or imprisonment/forced labour & death). (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. (N/A. All ages targeted. Ukraine/Russia border closed. No escape).”

· Read the petition
· Petitions homepage

Read the Government’s response

Thank you for your e-petition.

The Holodomor was an appalling, man-made human tragedy.  The Government fully recognises its importance in Ukraine’s history.  The UK has co-operated with Ukraine to promote remembrance and increase public awareness of the Holodomor.  We have supported statements at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe honouring the memory of those who perished in the Holodomor and encouraging the promotion of its remembrance.  In 2008, HRH The Duke of York, HRH Princess Eugenie of York, the Foreign Secretary and the Minister for Europe all paid their respects to those who suffered in 1932-33 by laying wreaths at the Holodomor memorial in Kyiv. 

The Prime Minister was represented at the events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Holodomor held in Kyiv on 22 November 2008, and the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary sent written messages of condolence to mark the occasion.  The Government was also represented at the memorial event in London.

With regard to the question of whether the events of 1932-1933 should be recognised as genocide, the Government does not judge that the evidence is sufficiently unequivocal to categorise the Holdomor as genocide as defined by the 1948 UN Convention on Genocide.  However, the Government does recognise that there is a division of opinion among academics on this matter and will continue to follow the debate and any further emerging evidence.

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