Residents of Kyiv joined the campaign Letters to Free Crimea during the Book Arsenal and Docudays UA 2024

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This year, at the 12th International Book Arsenal Festival, which was held from May 30 to June 2, there was a stand in support of the Letters to Free Crimea campaign, where everyone could write a letter to Crimean political prisoners. The action was also held on the opening night of the 21st Docudays UA 2024, on May 31, at Zhovten Cinema.

Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Ruslan Stefanchuk is writing a letter during the Book Arsenal

The Crimean branch at the Book Arsenal was intended to remind the public about illegally arrested and imprisoned citizens with a pro-Ukrainian position on the temporarily occupied Crimean peninsula. According to the Mission of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, as of June 3, 2024, Russia is holding 218 people in captivity, 133 of whom are Crimean Tatars. 

The opening of the 21st Docudays UA 2024 was attended by a large number of human rights defenders, diplomats, Ukrainian and foreign directors, screenwriters and other representatives of the film industry. Many of them joined the campaign of writing letters to political prisoners to express their support.

Campaign stand during Docudays

During these events in Kyiv, visitors wrote 430 letters to the prisoners.

“These are 430 expressions of gratitude for their loyalty to Ukraine despite the threat to their lives. These are 430 reminders to political prisoners that they are not forgotten: neither by the authorities nor by the society of Ukraine. These are 430 ways to keep in touch with the present, to hear about the flow of everyday life that is sure to await them. Supporting illegally detained persons with a conversation, a funny story, a drawing, a postcard, or even a poem is the least we can do”, the Mission of the President noted.

The initiative is organised by the Mission of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, PEN Ukraine, Human Rights Centre ZMINA and the Ministry of Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine.

We remind everyone that the Letters to Free Crimea campaign has been prolonged until the end of 2024. Instructions for writing letters and a list of political prisoners can be found here.