Police prevent opposition activists from attending demonstration in Kyiv


Police officers stopped members of the Mykolaiv regional branch of the “Front for Change” from going to Kyiv for a national protest “No to tax terror and to elections without choice”.

The coaches were supposed to leave at 22.00.  According to Deputy for the Mykolaiv City Council and member of the Front, Oleh Mukrak, he does not understand on what grounds the police and traffic police refused to allow them to leave for the capital.

He says that they had already paid for the hiring of two coaches to get their activists to Kyiv. People, he reports, had not even had time to take their seats when the coaches were blocked by several police cars.

“The entire operation was led by the Deputy Head of the Mykolaiv City Police Department Alexei Myroshnychenko. He complained that we had not informed him of our departure for the capital. Yet according to legislation we are not obliged to tell anybody about this. After these efforts of his, after a number of phone calls, several traffic police units were called who blocked the coaches”. He explains that they spent 40 minutes checking the papers but found nothing to quibble over, and simply detained the drivers. They were taken to the regional traffic police [GAI] station. Mr Mudrak says that they did not inform anyone of the grounds for this.

He says that a complaint will be issued to the Prosecutor of the Mykolai region Mykola Stoyanov, and that he has informed National Deputies, including the Leader of the Front for Change Arseny Yatsenyuk about the events.

Apparently later the Head of the Department for Public Safety of the Mykolaiv Division of the MIA and Myroshnychenko stipulated that there should be one police officer in each coach. The Front activists agreed, but, Mr Mudrak says, phone calls to the transportation firms obviously worked, and the coaches did not set off for Kyiv.

The Odessa firm ordered the drivers to return to Odessa.

Such incidents when the Mykolaiv police have blocked the exit of people heading toward protest actions have not been seen for a long time.  Are we really seeing a return to 2004?

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