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05.12.2012

First they’re beaten up, then charged with “hooliganism”

   

The Lviv police have initiated a criminal case under the article on hooliganism against Nazar Oleksevych, journalist from the newspaper Krai and member of the NGO Democratic Alliance and his father, Roman.  This follows the events reported here in Kamyanka-Buzka (Lviv oblast) on 14 November.

Police version

The investigator asserts that on the road between Lviv and Lutsk there was a control point to weigh vehicle loads which Roman Oleksevych in an intoxicated state and his son drove into, and therefore “obstructed the work” of the officers for two hours.

They supposedly demonstrated arrogance and disregard for public norms and resisted the police.

The other version

Nazar and his father had gone, at the request of drivers concerned by the behaviour of traffic police officers and traffic inspectorate to where a crowd of indignant people had gathered.  They in fact called on Nazar as a journalist and civic activist to intervene in the situation and to video what was going on. They asserted that the traffic inspectorate people were unlawfully demanding payment from people transporting beet.

Nazar Oleksevych says that he asked the officers to show their documents and was told “roughly” to get out. After that activists called the police, dialling 102.

«Together with those police officers who simply stood back and watched the events, members of other services arrived who began wrenching the video recorder away, while virtually suffocating the journalist with the strap. Roman Oleksevych wanted to run to the petrol station where there’s CCTV, but the police grabbed him by the legs and pulled him along the asphalt. And then they pushed him, half undressed, into the passenger seat and took him away together with his son Nazar”, Ihor Hurnyak, Head of the Lviv Regional Branch of the Democratic Alliance says.

It then seems that the police took Nazar (with his father) to the hospital, however it remains unclear why or what happened then.  Ihor Hurnyak asserts that they took him to the hospital because of the outcry from the public but then says that they wanted to try to prove that he was drunk, and that he simply disappeared. “The police and the hospital denied that he was there. “Then it turned out that he was lying held by police officers in the private car of one of the traffic police officers near the hospital. The police didn’t report this and if he hadn’t begun shouting, we would still be looking for him”, Ihor Hurnyak explains.

By that time the entrance to the hospital was blocked by around 15 officers from various enforcement bodies (Hurnyak mentions the police, traffic police and Prosecutor’s Office}. According to Hurnyak, they were only away to get Nazar and his father out under the pressure from the public who began gathering around the hospital. 

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