Fine over peaceful protest at Mezhyhirya revoked
The Kyiv Regional Court of Appeal has revoked the ruling which fined the Deputy Head of the Democratic Alliance Party, Andriy Bohdanovych for a peaceful protest near the President’s controversial residence at Mezhyhirya. The original ruling was passed by the Vyshhorod District Court, the party announces. It does not explain why this specific fine was revoked.
As reported, on 11 and 12 April 2013 two Democratic Alliance activists were jailed one – Maxim Panov – for 7 days over the initial protest, and Vasyl Hatsko to 5 days after protesting at Panov’s sentence. Hatsko had also been fined over the original gathering, and there is no mention of this having been revoked.
On 11 April four Democratic Alliance activists and a TVi film crew had gone to the village of Novi Petrivtsi near President Yanukovych’s sumptuous and highly controversial estate, Mezhyhirya. The Democratic Alliance had announced plans to hold a protest against what they see as the pillaging of public funding earmarked for improving roads by the head of the relevant body. It is the President who appoints this person and the post is in fact now vacant since Volodymyr Demishkan, a close associate of Viktor Yanukovych, became a Party of the Regions MP last year.
A ban was swiftly sought by the Novi Petrivtsi Council and promptly provided. The reason cited was that the protest would obstruct measures to bring a spring flood under control.
The TV crew and activists accordingly arrived to view and help efforts to contain damage caused by this flood. They found nothing to contain since there was no flood, just a considerable contingent of police and Berkut riot police officers. The TVi team was grilled and the activists detained. The activists were accused of infringing the rules for holding a gathering, and of disobeying a police officer.
More details about this and other banned protests near the President’s residence in Protecting the President’s Patch.