Police detain 40 people including journalists during a protest over building seizure


The Police claimed on Friday evening that their actions in detaining a group of people in the premises occupied since 1997 by the Institute “Respublica”, a human rights organization, had been justified.

The information agency UNIAN was told by one of the heads of the Kyiv Police Department that on 15 October a court had passed a ruling in favour of a certain organization which had received the right to occupy the premises in question. However on Friday a group of 25 people had wilfully occupied the premises of the Institute “Respublica” and had refused to leave when asked.  They also, the police representative stated, resisted police officers.

As a result of this, he said, they were arrested and taken to the Holosiyivsky District Police Station to have administrative protocols drawn up over disobeying police officers.  He asserted that no force was applied against the people detained, and that after the protocols were written up they were all released.

Kyiv journalist Ihor Lutsenko informed UNIAN that on Friday at around 17.00 the police had taken into custody around 40 people participating in a protest against the eviction of Institute “Respublica” from their premises on Gorky St.  These included journalists covering the protest. According to him, the authorities had been informed in advance about the protest action, but at some point during the event several police cars turned up. The officers who got out did not show any identification and began “packing” the demonstrators into the cars “without ascertaining who they were and what they were doing, and not paying attention to the journalists.” Ihor Lutsenko maintained that there had been no scuffles during the action.

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