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04.07.2013

Blanket ban on protest outside President’s Administration

   

The District Administrative Court in Kyiv has banned any peaceful protests outside the President’s Administration until the end of the year.  The ban was issued on 13 June but has only just become known. 

The application for a ban following two notifications of plans to hold indefinite pickets on the relevant streets (Bankova and Luteranska) was lodged by the Kyiv City State Administration [KCMA].  The Kyiv Police were a third party to the case.

Most disturbingly, although the notification was lodged by two individuals, the court, under presiding judge Keleberda, banned any peaceful gatherings at all. 

The ruling states that having analyzed information from the Kyiv Police the court believes it possible that the holding of an indefinite hunger strike could disrupt the interests of national security and public order; obstruct free access by members of the public and staff to an adjoining state institution. It asserts that it could disrupt the normal flow of traffic on the part of the road near where the pickets were taking place and “the rights and freedoms of residents of adjacent buildings.”

All of this is about the planned protest by the mother of a disabled child hoping to alert the President’s attention to violations by his subordinates of people’s constitutional rights.

Roman Kuybida from the Centre for Legal and Political Research says that you don’t need to be a lawyer to understand the absurdity of this ban.  You also don’t need to know the Constitution and international standards which the court so generously quotes while totally disregarding.

„However the worst thing is that this ruling effectively deprives citizens of their constitutional right to picket state bodies of power – the President’s Administration and the parliamentary committees on those streets. “   He suggests drily that the court appears to have decided to not change the dangerous trend which the President mentioned in his address to the Verkhovna Rada.  Yanukovych basically repeated information reported here on many occasions: in 2012 the authorities sought to ban 358 peaceful gatherings and in 90% of the cases the applications were allowed. 

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