European countries have been struck by a wave of violence against civic activists and journalists. In the last three years the following murders took place: Jan Kutsyak in Slovakia, Victoria Marinlggova in Bulgaria, Daphne Caruana Galicia in Malta, Laira Mackie in Northern Ireland, and Kateryna Handziuk in Ukraine. Human rights defenders are recording a trend of increasing attacks against journalists, activists and whistleblowers across Europe in recent years.

The killings and attacks against civil society members are bitter evidence that corruption and intolerance do not have nationality, religion or citizenship, but have an overarching desire to destroy those who oppose these phenomena.

The Ukrainian initiative “Who is behind the murder of Katya Handziuk?” has been fighting for over a year for justice in the murder case of a well-known activist who was dosed with a liter of concentrated sulfuric acid on July 31, 2018 for exposing corruption. After 3 months of suffering Kateryna had passed in the hospital. Friends and indifferent people from all over the country have pledged to push the investigation to punish the perpetrators, especially those who ordered the hit. The initiative brought together many organizations and communities in Ukraine. Its existence has allowed the issues of security of civil society to be raised to a new level and give it a nationwide attention.

A year of our activity has made us realize that the fight against such injustice is impossible unless there is a critical mass of people with a common understanding that the evil must be spoken of. Our motto is - silence kills!

That is why we call for a pan-European unity to work together to prevent attacks on activists, journalists and whistleblowers everywhere.

We demand that we investigate crimes against civil society across Europe properly, and punish those responsible and do our best to prevent such crimes in the future.

We call on politicians to ensure that the civil society is protected not only by the statements but also by real actions.

We demand that crimes against civil society across Europe are investigated properly and those responsible are punished, in order to prevent such crimes in the future.