Oleksy Svyetikov from the Luhansk Regional Branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine writes that his organization makes a point of analyzing events from the point of view of the trends that they show. This year they must also be viewed in terms of their likely influence on the October parliamentary elections.
What particularly stands out is the sharp increase in “actions” by Luhansk police officers with respect to civic activists.
22 May 2011
In the private backyard of Yury Kosaryev from the Luhansk Human Rights Group (village of Volynukhino) there was conflict between Kosaryev and three police officers. This resulted in Kosaryev being beaten, arrest and held in a remand unit [SIZO] for almost 2 months on charges under Articles 342 and 345 of the Criminal Code.
According to the police he was drunk and aggressive to the police officers. However the video of the conflict posted on Youtube it is clear that it was the police officers who threatened him.
There was also a car with the heads of the company Uspensky Karyer, and since the police have given no adequate reason for being on Kosaryev’s land in the first place, Luhansk human rights activists believe that it was at the instigation of Uspensky Karyer.
Kosaryev has been active in fighting the company’s labour exploitation of employees.
11 January 2012
Four unidentified individuals burst into the home of the head of the Sverdlovsk civic organization Our Choice, Gennady Fumin and tried to set the place alight using a canister with petrol.
Fumin shot a rifle into the air twice, then shot at the wheels of the vehicle the men tried to flee in.
This meant that the arsonists could be identified however it is Gennady Fumin the Sverdlovsk police have charged with unwarranted use of firearms.
A year earlier Fumin was assaulted with bats resulting in him becoming disabled. Although he identified one of the assailants, the person was not charged.
Last summer Fumin’s car was set alight.
“0ur Choice” is active in fighting rights violations against miners working on informal mines.
It is clear, Oleksy Svyetikov writes, that the police in this are on the other side.
20 January 2012
The head of a youth organization “Zherrum”, Ivan Zhebed told the Chair of the MIA Public Council that he had been detained, taken out of the city and beaten by 2 police officers.
Although it is likely that the unlawful detention was not immediately linked with his civic activities, the police behaved more brutally after finding leaflets of a political nature in his pocket.
The author mentions also:
the abuse used by traffic police against members of the Dorozhny Kontrol, a civic organization fighting lawlessness by traffic police;
a search carried out of the home of Oleksandr Chikalo from Stanitsa Luhanska. He was accusing of writing anarchist slogans calling on people not to go into the army and not to pay taxes. When they got no confession, they released him but sent him off to find those responsible.
21-22 August 2011
Luhansk police officers phoned representatives of political parties and asked whether they were going to Kyiv to take part in the civic actions on Independence Day.
The police management then claimed that this was the police’s ordinary activities.
“In our view the point in all of these instances is not only that the MIA are engaged in activities not connected with protecting public order and fighting crime. These instances should also be view as interference by the police in the legitimate activities of civic organizations. A particularly important trend to note is that the number of such cases in 2011 rose sharply.
This is particularly worrying on the eve of the election campaign. The author reports some of the incidents from November 2004 during the presidential elections. The analogy is clear and alarming.
From the report by Alexei Svyetikov here http://www.cvu.org.ua/doc.php?lang=ukr&mid=pu&id=3190&lim_beg=0