Court bans peaceful demonstration while Ukraine speaks of democratic commitment in Brussels
On 22 November the District Administrative Court in Kyiv allowed the Kyiv City Administration’s application and effectively banned a number of civic organizations wishing to hold rallies in the centre of Kyiv from 22 to 26 November. The organizations thus prohibited from holding their rallies are associations of business people protesting against the new Tax Code passed by the ruling majority in parliament last week.
The Mayor’s Office had explained their application by saying that, “in connection with the visits of foreign delegations from 21 to 24 November 2010, as well as the relevant appeals from the Central Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Kyiv and the Department for State Defence, the city authorities have turned to the District Administrative Court in Kyiv asking that mass scale protests be restricted during this period”.
The visit mentioned is likely to be that of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kyrill.
It is worth noting that during his last visit, the traffic police prevented many believers from the Orthodox Church under the Kyiv Patriarchate from coming to religious services to mark the Baptism of Kyivan Rus in Kyiv on 28 July.
Civil organizations are planning to highlight these events in an address to members of international and European structures in the hope that they will draw to the attention of the Ukrainian authorities that fundamental rights must not be compromised in this way.