Police confirm that Kherson Mayor was reporting only to the invited
The Ministry of Internal Affairs has ascertained that the report by Kherson’s present Mayor, Volodymyr Saldo, supposedly to city residents was in fact a closed affair to which not all those wishing to attend were admitted. It confirmed to the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union that admittance had been by invitation and that the system of permits had been ensured by staff of the Kherson City Council Executive Committee.
As reported, it was at this occasion on 14 September, and specifically over the restrictions on who was let in, that journalist and Head of the Kherson Regional Branch of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, Dementiy Bily was beaten up.
There had been no announcement of the event either in the media or on the City Council’s website. There were rumours that invitations were being issued to those specially chosen, and leaders of civic organizations were not among them. Dementiy, despite being the editor of a local newspaper – and, of course, a citizen entitled to hear the report – was only admitted after the Deputy Head of the Regional Administration intervened.
Having seen that there were empty seats, yet people were being stopped from entering, Dementiy grabbed a microphone and called on Mayor Saldo to instruct the security people to admit those outside.
This led to his being pushed out into the foyer where one of three men inflicted blows on him.
At present the Prosecutor has initiated a criminal investigation, however this is being delayed by an appeal against the decision by the person alleged to have assaulted him.
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