12 November 2015

IFLA-FAIFE Statement on the targeting of the Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is strongly committed to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Libraries and librarians have an important role in every country and society to bring together and make available a broad range of knowledge and literature.  This professional role deserves a high level of respect and consideration.

Consequently IFLA has strong concerns over the recent targeting of the Library of Ukrainian Literature by the police in Moscow.  The nature of the raid, and the subsequent detention of Natalya Sharina – the Director of the Library - on a charge of suspicion of inciting hatred or animosity toward a social group was disproportionate and unnecessary.

IFLA calls for this issue to be resolved quickly in a calm and proportionate manner, without escalation, within the framework of existing national and international legislation, and for the Library to be allowed to continue its work unhindered within the law.

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