Crimean authorities violate the right of peaceful assembly


The Simferopol authorities have banned the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists from holding a rally on Lenin Square on Sunday 29 June to mark the anniversary of the birth of the Head of the UPA [Ukrainian Resistance Army] Roman Shukhevych.

As if that wasn’t enough, the local authorities also banned a meeting to mark the 67th anniversary of the Act of Restoration of the Ukrainian State.

The Head of the Simferopol City Council’s Executive Committee Yevhen Velykoluh gave somewhat conflicting explanations.

On the one hand he said that they had received applications for agreeing events during the coming weekend from the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, the Socialist Party, the Communist Party and the party Soyuz [Union].  He claimed that while the others were set out “in fairly correct form, the application from the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists sounded quite incorrect, as stating a fact”.

(It is worth mentioning that there is no legal requirement in Ukraine to gain permission as such to hold a meeting.  The authorities need to be informed, not asked – translator).

Mr Velykoluh also asserted that Lenin Square is only used for State festivals and those run under the auspices of the Crimean leadership or Simferopol Executive Committee.

He then added the following: “Shukhevych’s name in Simferopol arouses nothing but rejection and non-acceptance. And this is not only in the Crimea, this attitude is the same in South-Eastern Crimea, and in Western Ukraine, there is no unequivocal attitude to this person. And I generally regard the activities of the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists as usual political provocation”.

Loosely based on a report at

To state the obvious, Article 39 of the Constitution mentions nothing about agreeing opinions with the local authorities.

Article 39

Citizens have the right to assemble peacefully without arms and to hold meetings, rallies, processions and demonstrations, upon notifying in advance the bodies of executive power or bodies of local self-government.

Restrictions on the exercise of this right may be established by a court in accordance with the law and only in the interests of national security and public order, with the purpose of preventing disturbances or crimes, protecting the health of the population, or protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons.

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