13.12.2001 | Inna Sukhorukova, Kharkov.

Kharkov authorities cannot master article 39 of the Constitution.


On 14 December 2001 the Kharkov youth headquarters of the party ’Batkivshchina’ (’Fatherland’) headed by Yulia Timoshenko and the Kharkov region organization of the committee ’Za pravdu’ (’For truth’) planned to hold an action against President Kuchma. The main motto of the action was the appeal to Russian President Putin (who had a meeting with Kuchma in Kharkov): ’Vladimir! Take him with you!’. About two dozens persons distributed leaflets with this appeal and intended to meet the motorcades of the two Presidents holding these and similar mottoes. Alas, the Presidents had no opportunity to see either the placards or the picketers.

Plain-clothed law-enforcers detained the young activists from Timoshenko’s block, took them to the city park, which is situated not far away, and advised to express their protests on the park alleys.

At the same time the motorcade of the Presidents, like in the good old times, was met by flag-waving schoolchildren and students, which were lined up along the route. The meeting crowd was handpicked by the administration, taken into the streets and forced to stand in the frost for about an hour.

As to the members of the organization ’For truth’, they decided to protest against the illegal actions of law-enforcing organs, which impeded them to greet the Russian President. They decided to picket the Kharkov oblast militia directorate. To this end, they handed an application to the executive committee of the Kharkov city council. The picket had to be conducted on 20 December from 14:00 to 16:00. Yet, the Kharkov city executive committee handed the claim to the Dzerzinski district court with the demand to prohibit the picket. Their motivation was that the organization ’For truth’ was not registered in the proper way, that holding the picket on the Day of militia may provoke the clashes with supporters of militia and that the territory chosen by picketers is not large enough.

On 19 December D. Loseva, a judge of the district court, considered the claim of the executive committee and issued the resolution: ’Taking into account that the mentioned organization plan to hold the action… on 20 December 2001, whereas the court prepare to the consideration the case somewhat later, …it is necessary to prohibit the picketing of the building of the oblast militia directorate… until the case were considered in essence’.

Representatives of the Kharkov committee of the movement ’For truth’ and representatives of the youth headquarters of Yu. Timoshenko’s block reckon that the authorities brutally violated Article 39 of the Ukrainian Constitution, since the first picket did not require any permission at all, and the second picket had to be permitted by the court, if it appeared impossible to consider the case in time.

And certainly, there are no legal reasons according to which leaflets and slogans were confiscated from the picketers.

Kharkov authorities, in spite of the scandal connected with ruining the tent camp on the Svoboda Square in January 2001, cannot master the Basic Law of Ukraine.

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