Uniting for Freedom, Democracy & Equality

Victoria Amelina, Ukrainian Novelist and Activist, Winner of the Joseph Conrad Literary Award, Addresses the Free Iran 2022

Victoria Amelina, Ukrainian Novelist and Activist, Winner of the Joseph Conrad Literary Award
Victoria Amelina, Ukrainian Novelist and Activist, Winner of the Joseph Conrad Literary Award

Excerpts of the speech of Victoria Amelina, Ukrainian Novelist and Activist, Winner of the Joseph Conrad Literary Award, at the Free Iran 2022, is as follows:

Thank you so much, thank you so much, and please stop because I can start crying because actually every time when you start chanting “Hazer” (We are ready), I feel like I’m back to the beginning of the Ukrainian revolution of dignity like I’m back to 2014, and we are yet at the beginning of our big fight for freedom.

And I can tell you this fight wasn’t easy for us during all those years, and you are in our shoes as well, so you know that for sure, but we in Ukraine say.

That it is better to die free than to live as slaves, and I’m sure you all know that. So, you should fight, and you will win.

I also wanted to point out that you know when I was five and USSR collapsed, I thought that all Ukraine has to do is to just copy western democracies, and we will be fine. Now. I’m 36, and I know that it is not enough that we are the ones who will have to set a new standard for justice in the world.

And you are the ones who will set a new standard for justice in the world because the post-war world appeared to be not the world where we have never again. It is happening again now in Ukraine, and we have to change something.

Several speakers, of course, mentioned nuclear power here now. You see. I’m a novelist and a human rights defender, but I want to speak to You about nuclear power. I think that in the fight between Russia and Ukraine we have to show that we won’t submit to nuclear black mailing, this is very important because we are on the brink of a situation when if we are too cautious.

If we show our fear then perhaps regimes like Iranian one and others will think that a terrorist with a nuclear bomb can enjoy impunity, and we have to break the circle of impunity.

I am not a politician, so I can tell you that in Ukraine people in the trenches know that they are fighting not just for Ukraine but for the free world and for the values of democracy, rule of law and human rights.

So, they know that they are also fighting for you and for Ukraine to win it is not only to restore our borders to where they were in 1991, for Ukraine to win means to completely it our democratic transformation to actually become this democracy that everyone would admire in the world.  And for this we need not only new laws and reforms we need to believe in justice and this means that all those war crimes that I and my colleagues help to document now in Ukraine should be punished must be punished but also we do need an international hybrid tribunal established to prosecute all the war crimes.

All the crimes against humanity and possible genocide, and I’m sure that here, and I know that in the audience there are people whose relatives were executed by the Iranian regime. And we know that after you will win, and of course you will win, you will need justice as well. So, I asked the international community to support us in that. Because without belief, injustice, we won’t be able to succeed in the most important task we have in building democracy.

And I’ll probably just finish saying, be brave like Ukraine, but also be brave like the Resistance of Iran. Thank you. Thank you so much.