The scope of violence against #Euromaidan is much bigger that we thought
The scope of violence against civil rights activists, peaceful protesters and journalists in Ukraine is much bigger that we thought. The local office of parliamentary commissioner on human rights has received dozens of complaints all around the country just this December. In her recent statement, Ukrainian ombudsmen Valeriya Lutkovska says she has deep concerns with regard to the growing pressure on the civil society activists, numerous attacks on the participants and organizers of the peaceful rallies, journalists as well as damage caused to their belongings and property.
“The representatives of civil society institutes, human rights community justly point out that mentioned facts are perceived by the society as a sign of possible implementation of the strategy of intimidation of the peaceful protests activists,” – as the Ombudsman points out, adding that the impunity of the perpetrators of these crimes only strengthens the idea.
“From the right of force we should return to the force of law,” she adds.
In her statement Ukrainian chief commissioner on human rights, doesn’t go as far as to point the finger at the local authorities as possible instigators of the recent violence. She definitely could lose her job for that, knowing that the pro-government party is in full control of the local parliament. However, local activists and journalists have little doubt that high-level authorities have changed their intimidation tactics from full-scale crackdowns on peaceful protests to selective attacks on the most active people of the Euromaidan civil rights movement. Popular rumors have it that authorities are putting their final touches on massive prosecution of activists/journalists/opposition leaders as “coup d’état organizers”.
Harsh words from Ukrainian ombudsmen were published following the brutal assault on crusading investigating journalist Tatyana Chornovol.
The Attorney General office hinted this Friday, that it may go as far as to blame the opposition for organizing this attack. Particularly the investigators have mentioned the prominent opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko as a possible lead in this case. In other news, recent polls show that Klitschko beats president Yanukovich by 10% as a possible second round winner of the next presidential elections set for 2015.
In recent days attacks against civil rights activists in Ukraine got more intense, with physical violence, burned cars, ransacked apartments becoming an everyday routine.
SSM. Day 2. Audio
GENERAL VERRILLI: So there is no administrative advantage to be gained here by what Congress sought to achieve. And the fundamental reality of it is, and I think the House report makes this glaringly clear, is that DOMA was not enacted for any purpose of uniformity, administration, caution, pausing, any of that. It was enacted to exclude same-sex married, lawfully married couples from Federal benefit regimes based on a conclusion that was driven by moral disapproval. It is quite clear in black and white in the pages of the House report which we cite on page 38 of our brief -
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: So that was the view of the 84 Senators who voted in favor of it and the President who signed it? They were motivated by animus?
GENERAL VERRILLI: No, Mr. Chief Justice. We quoted our — we quoted the Garrett concurrence in our brief, and I think there is a lot of wisdom there, that it may well not have been animus or hostility. It may well have been what Garrett described as the simple want of careful reflection or an instinctive response to a class of people or a group of people who we perceive as alien or other. But whatever the explanation, whether it’s animus, whether it’s that — more subtle, more unthinking, more reflective kind of discrimination, Section 3 is discrimination. And I think it’s time for
the Court to recognize that this discrimination, excluding lawfully married gay and lesbian couples from Federal benefits, cannot be reconciled with our fundamental commitment to equal treatment under law.
I still cannot believe that people could actually go to the Supreme Court with ridiculous arguments like these:
JUSTICE BREYER: What precisely is the way in which allowing gay couples to marry would interfere with the vision of marriage as procreation of children that allowing
sterile couples of different sexes to marry would not? I mean, there are lots of people who get married who can’t have children. To take a State that does allow adoption and say — there, what is the justification for saying no gay marriage? Certainly not
the one you said, is it?
Look, you said that the problem is marriage; that it is an institution that furthers procreation.
MR. COOPER: Yes, Your Honor.
JUSTICE BREYER: And the reason there was adoption, but that doesn’t apply to California. So imagine I wall off California and I’m looking just there, where you say that doesn’t apply. Now, what happens to your argument about the institution of marriage as a tool towards procreation? Given the fact that, in California, too, couples that aren’t gay but can’t have children get married all the time.
MR. COOPER: Yes, Your Honor. The concern is that redefining marriage as a genderless institution will sever its abiding connection to its historic traditional procreative purposes, and it will refocus, refocus the purpose of marriage and the definition of marriage away from the raising of children and to the emotional needs and desires of adults, of adult couples.
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"Getting my news from what’s retweeted by Stalin?! Google Reader is more than a daily habit. It’s an extension of myself. I’m truly fucked now!"
The big picture is that this is a big problem that has gotten much worse quickly. Right now, there’s a general belief that because these are pharmaceutical drugs, they’re safer than street drugs like heroin. But at some point, people using these drugs are going to become more aware of the dangers