Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Eliot L. Engel, the senior Democratic member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the below statement following the Ukrainian parliament’s passage of legislation which will seriously constrain fundamental rights and restrict civil liberties.

“I am extremely concerned by the Ukrainian parliament’s passage yesterday of legislation which will seriously constrain fundamental rights -- including those related to freedom of expression, assembly, and press -- and restrict civil liberties. This legislation is clearly incompatible with democratic norms and Ukraine’s European and international commitments, and is all the more alarming in that it was passed in parliament in apparent violation of normal procedures. If allowed to stand, the legislation will constitute a setback to democracy in Ukraine and will only deepen the current political crisis. I therefore call on President Yanukovych to veto immediately these profoundly undemocratic measures.”

Rep. Engel is the sponsor of H.Res. 447, which supports the democratic and European aspirations of the people of Ukraine.