• Topics / Freedom of peaceful assembly
• Topics / Freedom of movement
Transport companies “strongly advised” not to carry protesters to Kyiv
The Union of Transport Firms and Union of Drivers will be supporting the action “FORWARD” and taking part in the Spring Protest March on 19 May to the Verkhovna Rada in Kyiv. Information is being received, however, from the regions that transport firms are being “strongly advised” to not take part, and being threatened with “problems” if they do.
The Union of Transport Firms and Union of Drivers are therefore calling on the traffic police [DAI] to not obstruct the movement of people taking part in the Spring Protest March, and also calling on the media to ensure objective coverage of the preparations for the protest.
According to the Head of the Union of Drivers, Serhiy Ovchynnykov, they have been informed by many carriers that in various parts of the country traffic police officers are “recommending” that they decide not to take part in the protest. “We therefore call on officers of the traffic police to refrain from unlawful actions and not obstruct the movement of vehicles carrying protesters. We hope that representatives of the DAI will carry out only their direct duties in overseeing traffic and will not create artificial obstructions for people intending to peacefully express their protest against the actions of the government which violate their constitutional rights”.
The unions also call on journalists to support them. “Today they’ll crush small business owners, tomorrow it will be your turn. Journalists, we look forward to your support! The future of our country depends on your objective reports, information, television and radio features. LET’S SHOW THEM that we are one people and will defend our rights and freedoms together!”
They ask media outlets to provide maximum coverage of coaches with protesters leaving to get to Kyiv for 19 May and if possible to accompany processions, recording any unlawful actions by the enforcement bodies and swiftly reporting on all cases where people’s constitutional rights are infringed.
The transport firms have previously put forward specific demands. These include, among others, stipulating a clear and exhaustive list of documents needed for transporting people, and other measures which will ensure transparency and consistency, prevent corruption, etc.