Please read this. It's long but very important. A couple of days ago a friend of ours and a Ukrainian filmmaker (whose name we are withholding for his own safety) posted a dramatic appeal for help and support for his 6 friends from the Kiev Film School who had been unlawfully arrested by Ukrainian militia. Below is the information he sent us:
"On the night of 19th/20th of January, the boys (aged between 19-26) were surrounded by 6 cars, beaten up by about 20 policemen and taken into custody. They were threatened and denied legal representation and medical help. No evidence has been presented against them and for hours after the arrest, no one knew what happened to them. The official search for them commenced, though it was only after the involvement of MPs and journalists, was it announced the boys had been detained.
The boys were charged with extremism, organising civil unrest on one of the streets in Kiev and beating up the policemen during their arrest, whilst all they had in reality done was participate in a peaceful protest against the current political situation in Ukraine. For this they are facing 8 to 15 years in prison.
They are Sound, Cinematography, Acting and Directing students who like us were just starting their careers, but because of the political circumstances their country finds itself in, their whole lives could now take a very dramatic turn. Their families are shattered and helpless."
The students of the Lodz Film School have issued an official letter to express solidarity with the Ukrainian students and to let the Ukrainian authorities know that their actions are being watched by the public. Here is an international version of this letter to increase its impact. The appeal will also be sent to other film schools in the world.
Imagine that you were unlawfully arrested and charged and how incredibly important it would be for someone to do something about it. Please sign with your name and institution you are affiliated with and pass the word forward.
More information on the current situation in Ukraine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euromaidan
Students Government of The Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School in Lodz started this petition with a single signature, and now has 651 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.