Oleksiy Verentsov declares hunger strike, persecution of human rights group continues
Oleksiy Verentsov has declared a hunger strike in protest at his unlawful prosecution. As reported, the lawyer, human rights activist and organizer of a peaceful protest action on 12 October yesterday received a 3 day jail sentence (administrative arrest). The Judge at the Halytsky District Court in Lviv accepted that Verentsov had wilfully disobeyed the lawful demands of a police officer and, most worrying, the charge that he had organized the meeting without a permit from the City Council. Ukraine’s Constitution requires no such permit, and the City Council had been notified of the meeting. The court had not banned it and therefore, in accordance with the Constitution, it was legal.
On Friday morning the police and plain-clothed men several times visited the flat of the President of the human rights organization “Vartovi zakonu” [“Guards of the Law”] and Deputy Chief Editor of the newspaper “Ratusz”, Viktor Charnomsky. They have surrounded his flat and are waiting to see if he will open the door without formal witnesses [ponyati].