Kharkiv court bans opposition rally in city centre
The Kharkiv District Administrative Court has allowed an application from the Kharkiv City Council and prohibited one of the leaders of the United Opposition from meeting with voters on Freedom Square on 15 October.
The court ruling states that “during the above-mentioned event there is a real threat of disruption of public order, and infringement of the rights and freedoms of other citizens not taking part in the mass event; there is a danger to safety and life both of those taking part, and to citizens of the city, in connection with which the holding of the protest against the authorities is not possible for the above reasons”.
The court ruling explains that the Kharkiv regional branch of Batkivshchyna submitted notification of a plan to hold a meeting of voters with MP Arkady Yatsenyuk between 12.00 and 20.00 on Freedom Square., with an estimated 5 thousand people expected.
The court ruling also refers to a letter from the City Police which asserts that the action will cause “considerable difficulties in safeguarding public order since there are always a large number of people in the central part of the city, as well as heavy traffic”.
“Furthermore, residents and guests in the city with underage children visit the central part of the city for the sake of cultural recreation and the holding of a rally may arouse a negative reaction and well-founded indignation. Moreover, the holding of mass events with the participation of political parties and civic organizations with various political views may lead to a worsening of the operational situation in the place where the event is being held and even to open scuffles”.
Batkivshchyna is planning to appeal against the ban.