#freeMaksym Butkevych: support contacts of human rights defenders with Ukrainian POWs
Maksym Butkevych is a Ukrainian human rights activist and journalist who was captured by the Russian army
The Ukrainian human rights community, Maksym’s parents, friends and colleagues urgently call on the European and international community to support admitting human rights defenders, and international organizations to Ukrainian prisoners of war and their places of detention, and provide all guarantees, as stipulated by the Geneva Convention.
Without international attention, we could not get information about the condition and whereabouts of Maksym Butkevych and other Ukrainian prisoners of war from his platoon. We need help to return them home.
Maksym Butkevych is a Ukrainian human rights activist and journalist. In March 2022, he volunteered to join the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Around June 21-24, the Russian army captured him in the Luhansk region along with 13 servicemen of his platoon.
His family had no contact with him and his exact whereabouts remain unknown.
For the last twenty years, Butkevych has been one of Ukraine’s most active defenders of tolerance and fighters against discrimination in all forms. He is a co-founder and coordinator of the No Borders Project that aims to help asylum seekers and internal migrants in Ukraine. This initiative is one of the earliest organizations in Ukraine to promote the anti-racist agenda and fight the use of hate speech in media and public discourse.
At the same time, he worked at UNHCR in Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus as an Associate Regional Public information officer. He is a founding member of the ZMINA Human Rights Center and of the Hromadske Radio where he worked as a journalist in 2013 and 2014.
You can listen to a conversation with Maksym’s father:
Truth is only thing to counter Russian lies about Maksym Butkevych – father of captured human rights defender
He also collaborated with the BBC World Service and several Ukrainian national TV channels. Butkevych has been a prominent public figure in Kyiv life: he taught as a visiting lecturer at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, served on the Ukrainian board of Amnesty International as well as on the Public Council of Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs. He also participated in the organization of the Docudays UA, the international human rights documentary film festival.
In recent years, he coordinated the implementation of the system of monitoring and rapid response to human rights violations in Ukraine — REAct, of the Public Health Alliance.