Ukraine Bars Critical Free Speech — Imprisons and Kills US Journalist & Expects More Funding?! Get the US out of Ukraine!
On January 11th, 2024, Gonzalo Lira, a Chilean-American war commentator and journalist, passed away after an eight-month-long imprisonment in Ukraine on charges of "justifying Russia's military actions in Ukraine." It has been reported that the conditions Lira faced while imprisoned were inhumane. According to his father, Lira was tortured, extorted, and kept isolated for over 8 months. Congress must bring justice for the wrongful imprisonment and subsequent torture and death of Gonzalo Lira — the United States MUST pull out of Ukraine, cease all funding, and demand justice is served!
Gonzalo Lira gained popularity in 2022 for being highly critical of the war between Ukraine and Russia. He believed that the conflict was a proxy war waged by the US against Russia. He focused a great deal on the loss of life as a result of an engineered war. In addition, Lira, like many conservatives, believed that the United States should stop funding the war in Ukraine.
In May of 2023, Lira was arrested by Ukrainian authorities and charged with the "production and dissemination of materials justifying Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine.” In short, Lira was charged for free speech because his expression was critical and in opposition to Ukraine.
In October, Lira developed double pneumonia, pneumothorax, and a severe case of edema, putting pressure on his lungs and causing shortness of breath and fainting spells. All of this was ignored by the prison. It was only until a hearing on December 22nd that Lira’s pneumonia was acknowledged, and he was admitted for treatment.
After suffering from untreated double pneumonia, pneumothorax, and a severe case of edema for two months, Lira passed away in a hospital in Kharkiv, Ukraine. He died away from his family, in another country, imprisoned, tortured, and ultimately murdered for free speech.
During Lira’s imprisonment, Lira's father, Gonzalo Lira Sr., communicated with the US embassy to attempt to alert the embassy about his son's critical condition and the lack of transparency from Ukrainian authorities regarding his health status. The embassy did nothing.
This leads us to the actions Congress must take in response to this truly heartbreaking event. Lira was an American, a commentator, and journalist. Ukrainian officials wrongfully imprisoned him because his free speech went against their tyrannical money-hungry government. During his imprisonment, he was denied basic human rights and forced to bear multiple untreated illnesses for over two months, leading to his untimely death. The United States cannot, in good faith, continue to send money to a country that would torture and murder one of our own citizens. Congress needs to bring justice to Gonzalo Lira and his family; they need to demand that the United States cease ALL funding to Ukraine and sever ties with dictatorial powers like the Zelenskyy regime, which seeks the imprisonment, torture, and murder of those critical of him. Stand on the right side of history and KNOW your OATH! Justice for Lira!