Donetsk: Prosecuted for trying to see the Mayor
The right to be seen by the Mayor needs to be upheld in court. The Donetsk City Council is in a court battle with 21-year-old Dmytro Verzylov, the Head of the Union of Donetsk Region Deceived Depositors. A week ago, Verzylov, together with other members of the Union, tried to get into a press conference given by the Donetsk Mayor to ask him to help them get the money that they deposited in credit unions back. The result – the picketers ended up in the police station.
The Voroshylovsky Court heard witnesses in the case brought against Dmytro Verzylov for allegedly organizing an unauthorized protest of deceived depositors in the Donetsk City Council on 7 September. Around a hundred people gathered in the cramped court premises, and the witnesses had to sit in the area for defendants, behind bars.
However representative for the Donetsk City Council, the Head of its Department for Public Relations did not appear and says that he had not been invited. The absence of the claimant prompted the judge to adjourn the case for several days which outraged the witnesses who wouldn’t let him leave the courtroom for around 10 minutes.
Respondent: Authorities threatened to jail them
Dmytro Verzylov is accused of holding an unauthorized meeting inside the City Council. Members of his Union of Deceived Depositors came to the Mayor’s office to see him a week ago, but met with law enforcement officers stopping them.
“A protest arose. People sat down, chained themselves to the railing. Nobody came out to us, they refused to hear us. Maxim Rovinsky (the Head of its Department for Public Relations) came out and began abusing me. He said he’d have us jailed in the SIZO [remand unit] if the meetings didn’t stop”. Dmytro Verzylov says. He rejects the accusation that he organized a meeting and says that the people at the press conference gathered spontaneously. This is confirmed by pensioner Olha Dyakova:
“I personally asked the police to be admitted to the press conference. They said several times that I couldn’t then I took a chain and chained myself there in the hall”.
The aggrieved depositors are asking the City Council to make deputy requests to the Donetsk Prosecutor and Police to help people get their money back from the credit units “Dobrobut”, “Libid” and others.
Dmytro Verzylov says that the City Council has been ignoring them for a year. , Maxim Rovinsky, Head of its Department for Public Relations, asserts that the City Council is not in a position to help them. He alleges that Verzylov has a political interest in the case, and alleges that he is seeking a place on the candidate list of a party noted for standing up for pensioners’ rights.”
Slightly abridged from a report here: http://www.radiosvoboda.org/content/article/2158168.html