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Ukrainian police beat up and gassed protesters who don't like a new law that makes Russia an official language in parts of the Ukraine. Among the injured protesters was heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko.
Klitschko was one of around 1000 protesters who think legitimizing Russian is a step backward to the days of Soviet oppression. The protest was peaceful until police sprayed the crowd with tear gas. Then police employed batons and more gas to subdue angry protesters. Klitschko, who had to obtain medical attention, was among those with serious injuries.
The Ukraine is sharply divided between those who want to westernize it and those who don't, but, while the country works through these differences, there is no need for police to employ violence against protesters. Tell the Ukraine to let all voices be heard and respect the right of peaceful assembly.
We the undersigned believe that a civilized country allows all points of view to be heard. We also believe that peaceful protesters should not be harmed.
Your recent attack on protesters who do not want Russian to be an official language in the Ukraine proves the theory that violence breeds violence. You turned a peaceful protest into a blood bath instead of respecting the rights of your own people to organize and take part in the political process.
Regardless of whether recognizing Russian is a positive step for Ukraine, all dissenters have a right to voice their concerns. Don't beat and gas protesters!
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