French Human Rights Organization Reports on Persecution of Ukrainian Humanitarian Company

The French human rights organization, Coordination des Associations et des Particuliers pour la Liberté de Conscience, recently reported on the ongoing persecution of a Ukrainian family of psychologists, Iefym and Halyna Shabshai. The Shabshai family had to leave their company in Ukraine due to the hostilities unleashed by the Russian Federation and are now seeking refuge in Europe.

The Shabshai family’s humanitarian company provided psychological support to people in Ukraine, including soldiers who suffered from post-traumatic syndromes. However, their work was met with hostility from Russian religious extremists and followers of Alexander Dvorkin, known for his hate speeches against non-Orthodox minorities.

The Christine Mirre’s from French human rights organization’s report highlights how online guerrilla methods were used against the Shabshai family. The followers of Alexander Dvorkin used defamatory statements against the Shabshai family and their company Shabshai Technology, causing them to suffer hundreds of thousands of euros in losses. The report also sheds light on how FECRIS, a French organization that spreads defamatory statements against minority religious or belief groups, funded by the French government, was associated with Dvorkin for many years.

The persecution of the Shabshai family began in 2015 when Russian Orthodox extremists managed to turn a Shabshai’s employee, video operator against them. The operator threatened to edit video material that discredited the Shabshai family and their company and threatened to give it to the media if they did not cancel her debt. The video was aired by a Ukrainian media outlet, and the Shabshai family filed a lawsuit for defamation and protection of their honor and dignity. It took many years for their honor to be cleared, and the video was removed from all the resources of the channel in 2019.

The campaign against the Shabshai family and their company started again in 2022, after they relocated to Europe. The campaign was based on the same controversial video and false accusations, causing the family to suffer further losses.

On March 17, 2023, the representative of the French NGO “Coordination des Associations et des Particuliers pour la Liberté de Conscience”, Christine Mirre, at the end of her oral statement on the case of the Shabshai family, at the UN Human Rights Council, recommended the imposition of sanctions on Alexander Dvorkin and the associated organization FECRIS financed by the French government. 

Droits de l’Homme sans Frontières also recommends the prosecution of people and institutions using hate speech against other religious groups, fake news and false accusations religiously or politically connotated against individuals and private companies such as Shabshai Technology contributing to the psychological well-being of people, including Ukrainian soldiers suffering from post-traumatic syndroms.

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