Head of Transparency International in Ukraine fined for peaceful protest
Administrative charges have been brought against Oleksiy Khmara, Executive Director of Transparency International in Ukraine in connection with a protest on 24 July outside the President’s Administration in Kyiv. The entirely peaceful action was intended as a performance entitled “Break down the wall of bureaucracy” and was organized by Transparency International in Ukraine, together with the Anti-corruption Council of Ukraine. The aim was to vividly demonstrate the bureaucratic hurdles which civic activists have to face when putting their proposals to officials. The protest was designed to coincide with the presentation of TI in Ukraine and other organizations’ monitoring of the State anti-corruption programme and to try to present it to the President.
The performance in fact went off successfully, and an appeal and the report were passed to the President’s Administration. However after it they were informed that they had not had the right to hold the protest because of the ban imposed on all peaceful gatherings outside the President’s Administration until the end of the year. An administrative protocol was drawn up against Oleksiy Khmara as the organizer. Khmara commented on the absurdity of the authorities having informed of the ban after the protest. He asks whether they were scared of television cameras and stresses that they wanted to draw the President’s Administration;s attention to the inadequacy of State anti-corruption policy. If this is the price they must pay, they’ll pay it.
See Abuse of National Security for more information about the latest worrying blanket ban on peaceful gatherings.
From information here http://ti-ukraine.org/news/2859.html