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Over 5,000 demonstrate in Lviv against arrest of Svoboda Party members

30.05.2011    source:
A march in protest at political repression, organized by the right-wing Svoboda [Freedom].Party took place in Lviv on 29 May


A march in protest at political repression, organized by the right-wing Svoboda [Freedom].Party took place in Lviv on 29 May.  The march culminated in a viche, or people’s assembly, which according to the Internet portal gathered over 5 thousand people.  A report on Ukrainska Pravda gives a figure of 10 thousand.

The protest was over the detention of members of the Svoboda Party for alleged participation in the events on 9 May in Lviv.  During the viche, the head of the Svoboda faction in the Lviv Regional Council Iryna Sekh read out a list of those detained. She asserted that on 9 May shots had been fired at the Aide to Deputy of the Lvivi City Council Oleh Kovpak and that the person who fired them had still not been arrested. She also said that a Special Force Berkut officer had struck Volodymyr Vasylenko causing concussion and broken skin.  In neither case have those responsible been detained, she asserted.

On 12 May an attempt was made to detain Deputy of the Stryj District Council Maryan Berezdetsky. On 15 May two Deputies from the Sambir District Council, Volodymyr and Mykhailo Kovaliv were detained and are being held in Lviv SIZO No. 19 [remand unit]. On 15 May Viktor Kozorih was interrogated for several hours in Ternopil, and on 19 May Roman Semchiy was detained in Russia. He was able to notify his relatives by mobile phone but since then there has been no word from him.

The leader of Svoboda, Oleh Tyahnybok stated that the party would defend its members both by legal and political means. Other protests are to follow in other cities in Halychnyna.

From the report at

See the report at  for more detail about the events on 9 May.  Considering how often the law enforcement agencies have been used over the last year to prevent people attending peaceful protests, the fact that so many members of marginal pro-Russian groups were not in any way impeded from freely entering Lviv despite a court ban on the gatherings planned, is just one of many indicators that provocation was deliberately being encouraged.  It was pointed out by participants in the roundtable on political persecution organized by UHHRU and KHPG that only members of the right-wing parties had been targeted by the police since the violent events of that day.

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