Kremenchuk: Police detain flashmobbers


On Wednesday in Kremenchuk [Poltava oblast], around 40 people, mainly students, decided to organize a flash mob on the Kryukovsky Bridge. Their banners would seem to have bordered on the inane, however the police warned them that the event was unlawful, and the young people gathered anyway. The police detained the organizers of the action and charged them under the article on unauthorized gatherings. Other participants have been warned of liability. They face a fine.

The above was reported in the Telegraf newspaper together with an explanation of what a flash mob is.

What would be helpful is an explanation from the police of such worryingly heavy-handed measures. It is likely that the Article of the Code of Administrative Offences applied is 185-1, which can be interpreted to mean that failure to warn in advance of such a gathering is unlawful.  Human rights organizations have expressed concern for many years now that such norms, and subordinate legislation passed by individual local authorities, can impose unreasonable requirements (notification 10 days before an event, for example).

This is nonsensical in the case of a flash mob, where the concept of “organizer” is also rather inappropriate. In any case, the measures seem entirely disproportionate.


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