More activists detained for posting “anti-Yanukovych” posters
A group of young people who have formed the System for Collective Safety of Young People MAMA have been holding actions in support of the two Kherson students who were recently detained for sticking up posters deemed by the police to be offensive to President Yanukovych.
The posters contain a photo of Viktor Yanukovych and a slight, but crucial difference in the words of a famous Soviet song. The relevant line in the original says “I don’t know another country [other than the USSR – translator] where people breathe so freely”. The changed version reads: “I don’t know another country whose President is a former prisoner”. Viktor Yanukovyh served two prison terms for crimes, one involving violence, as a young man.
MAMA asserts that on 27 March three members were detained while pasting up the “anti-Yanukovych” posters. They were released after protocols were drawn up accusing them of petty hooliganism under Article 173 of the Code of Administrative Offences (foul language in a public place; offensive pestering of members of the public and other similar actions disturbing public order and peace). The activists signed the protocols, noting that they did not agree with them.
As reported, on 29 February two young students – in their fourth and fifth year at the Kherson National Technical University - were detained for pasting up leaflets which the police claim “ridicule the Head of State in a rude and offensive manner”.
The next day SBU [Security Service] officers even carried out a search of the hostel rooms where the students live. The media then also reported that a criminal case had been initiated under Article 296 of the Criminal Code (group hooliganism) which can carry up to 4 years. Thankfully this was terminated.