George Clooney backs Ukrainian protesters with statement of support
Story by Jack Foley
GEORGE Clooney has issued a statement in support of Ukrainian protesters who have been campaigning for their government to sign an agreement for closer ties with the European Union.
The protesters have been out on the streets of their country for the past two weeks campaigning against their failure to do so.
The move is being viewed as a means of enabling the country to move away from its Russian influence to a more democratic society. But it has also prompted Russia to threaten the imposition of hard-hitting sanctions.
Clooney, who is renowned for his humanitarian work, said in the statement: “We here in the United States have great affinity for those seeking democracy… We have learned through trial and error that a true democracy cannot exist without a free and fair and honest election. You cannot have a true democracy if you arrest and harm its peaceful protesters.”
He went on to denounce the fact that former prime minister Yulia Timoshenko was made a “political prisoner” because of a disagreement over “the way they want to govern”.
And he concluded: “Let me say this to all of you in the square in Kiev and all around Ukraine, when you look to the West, know that we’re looking back with great admiration. We wish you a peaceful and safe mission. We wish you the government that you want. And we wish you the strength to carry on.”
Clooney’s support, via a video message, was first revealed by Vitali Klitschko, the leader of the opposition party UDAR, on his official Twitter account, @Klitschko.
He immediately responded with the comment: “Thank you George — you are a true champ!”
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