Police detain photographer from Internet publication “Levy Bereg”
On 20 August at the Kyiv metro station “Voksalna” [the railway station connection], police officers detained Max Levin, photographer on the staff of the Internet publication “Levy Bereg” [“Left Bank”]. According to the publication, the detention took place with no explanations given, directly in the metro vestibule. In response to Levin’s request, after he had shown his identification, for the officers to provide theirs, the latter refused, using rough phrases like “we’ll break your horns” and “too smart”. They twisted his arms and led him to the station department. There, without drawing up a protocol, they carried out a search of his things, removing both mobile telephones and writing down the information from them.
After brief telephone consultations with their bosses, Max Levin was released.
“Levy Bereg” intend to demand an official explanation for the incident. Details of the police officers who took part in it have been recorded. Meanwhile the management of the Ministry of Internal Affairs have apparently ordered an inquiry into the detention. The MIA Public Relations Department says that the results will be made public after the investigation, however the police consider the incident to be ended.
The police explain that the officers’ attention was aroused by Max Levin’s large rucksack and that they therefore asked him to show his documents. They claim that he refused, and also asked them to show theirs. “After this being done, the guards of law and order invited the citizen to go into the police room in the vestibule of the station to establish the young man’s identity. Two witnesses were also invited.”.
The police say that in the room Max Levin opened his rucksack and got out his press card, but “refused to present it”, handing over his passport instead. They say that after establishing his identity and that he had nothing prohibited on him, he himself left the police room. They say that it is a shame that he did not name his place of work, but said he was a journalist from a well-known publication and threatened to complain over the officers’ unwarranted actions.
As reported, on 2 June at the same station, the police detained a member of the Independent Media Trade Union in Donetsk, Maxim Abramovsky. The grounds given were a gas pistol remodelled. The weapon was removed and Abramovsky released after 4 hours pending an expert analysis.