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 “There are many causes I would die for. There is not a single cause I would kill for.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

International Day of Non-Violence was established by a decision of the United Nations General Assembly in 2007 on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the Indian Independence Movement and the founder of the philosophy of non-violence.

The relevant UN resolution focuses on the fact that non-violence, respect, tolerance, respect for human rights and freedoms, as well as democracy are interrelated and supplement each other. In addition, International Day serves as yet another reason to “promote non-violence, including through educational and public awareness campaigns.”

The day of non-violence is a very relevant and important date since in the modern world armed confrontation and fighting continue unabated, human life and health are often endangered. Violent harassment, threats, enforced disappearances and physical violence are today’s reality that the world community has to deal with.

As a result of the armed conflict in Donbass, which has continued since 2014, egregious incidents of violence against civilians who disagree with the position of the Ukrainian authorities have been documented. They became victims of repressive methods of the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, which included unlawful detention and prohibited methods of influence in the form of threats and torture. Illustrative examples of arbitrariness and violence against persons detained in connection with the conflict are the cases of Yulia Prosolova, Daria Mastikasheva, Alexandra Valko, Vitaly Osinsky and many others.

According to the international humanitarian law, no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, as well as an order from a superior officer,  may be invoked as a justification of torture. Therefore, International Day of Non-Violence calls on to protect people from encroachment on their inalienable rights and to create a world of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence.