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Vasyl Bodnar takes part in Human Rights Tulip Award Ceremony
11 December 2020 18:26

On 11 December 2020, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Vasyl Bodnar took part in an annual Human Rights Tulip award ceremony by the Dutch Government to honour Ukrainian activists and human rights advocates.

This year, the Dutch Embassy in Ukraine awarded Human Rights Tulips to Tetiana Pechonchyk, a freedom of speech advocate and a chronicler of human rights violations in the occupied Crimea, as well as to Marta Chumalo, a co-founder of Women's Perspectives, which has been working since 1998 for the elimination of domestic violence and human trafficking and for promoting gender equality in Ukraine.

In his remarks Vasyl Bodnar congratulated the winners and expressed gratitude to the Netherlands for their support and recognition of Ukrainian human rights advocates. The Deputy Foreign Minister also drew attention to the ongoing large-scale human rights violations in the temporarily occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol and parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions. “Arbitrary detentions, torture, extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearance and inhuman or degrading treatment have become a daily reality there”, said Vasyl Bodnar.

The diplomat expressed hope that the recently adopted EU global human rights sanctions regime, initiated by the Netherlands, would become an effective tool for bringing to account those responsible for human rights violations in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

For reference: The Human Rights Tulip is an annual award of the Dutch government, initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, to individuals or organisations that promote human rights in peaceful ways. 

Since 2018, Dutch embassies have also issued a Human Rights Tulip to local human rights defenders. In this way, ambassadors show that the Netherlands values their work and sees it as important. The winners of Human Rights Tulip issued by embassies receive financial support and a sculpture in the form of a tulip.

In 2018, the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ukraine issued for the first time the Human Rights Tulip to Dmytro Schebetyuk, cofounder of Доступно.UA, for his contribution to promoting human rights and combating discrimination against people with disabilities.

The 2019 Human Rights Tulips were awarded by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ukraine to human rights lawyer Lilia Gemedzhi, who defends Crimean Tatars against persecution by the Russian occupying authorities in Crimea, and to activist Vitaliy Ustymenko, leader of the Odesa department of “AutoMaidan”. 

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