Peaceful assembly bill again put on hold “to avoid misunderstandings”


Police in Cherkasy use strongman tactics against a protest against the controversial language law.  In their open appeal, Ukrainian NGOs have reported a sharp increase in the number of bans of peaceful gatherings, and unwarranted use of force by law enforcement agencies

The Verkhovna Rada has yet again deferred consideration of Draft Law No. 2450 on Peaceful Assembly.  Radio Svoboda reports the head of the Party of the Regions faction in parliament, Oleksndr Yefremov as saying that this was done “in order to avoid misunderstandings”.  At the same time, the draft Law On Amendments to Some Legislative Acts on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly, which supplements No. 2450 failed to receive the requisite number of votes.

Earlier on Thursday a number of NGOs including the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union and Kharkiv Human Rights Group issued an appeal calling for both draft laws to be adopted and drawing attention to the increasing encroachments on freedom of peaceful assembly in Ukraine.

There were, on the other hand, around 100 people at a protest outside parliament on Thursday who see the draft law as a danger to freedom of peaceful assembly.

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