Appeal Court upholds ban on peaceful Stop Censorship action outside President’s mansion
Journalists arrived anyway to monitor how the court ban on their planned peaceful picket was being monitored. They swiftly discovered that it was
The hearing into the appeal lodged by Stop Censorship in June took place without prior notification of the Stop Censorship plaintiffs and therefore in their absence.
The Kyiv Court of Appeal rejected the appeal lodged by Artem Sokolenko from Stop Censorship against the ban on holding a meeting outside the entrance to the President’s reportedly sumptuous residence Mezhyhirya on 6 June 2011.
As reported, a year after President Yanukovych’s promise to journalists that they could visit his reportedly sumptuous residence Mezhyhirya came to nothing, the civic movement Stop Censorship announced plans to hold a peaceful protest outside Mezhyhirya aimed at reminding Yanukovych of his promise. The planned event, timed to coincide with Journalist Day on 6 June was announced on Friday. The very next day the Village Head of Novi Petrivtsi Rodion Starenki lodged an application for the protest to be banned. Most worryingly, Judge Hanna Panova from the Kyiv District Administrative Court allowed the application. The President, she said, had the right to rest: ““Taking into consideration the constitutional principles of defence of human rights to personal life, its inviolability, the right to rest outside working hours, the said gathering would infringe the mentioned personal human rights”.
The Judge also referred to the Decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR from 28 July 1988 requiring notification of peaceful gatherings 10 days in advance. This Decree has often been pulled out of the woodwork to try to justify restrictions on peaceful assembly despite the clear illegitimacy of citing a Decree passed by a country which no longer exists.
Stop Censorship found out by chance on 10 November from the lawyer representing the Novi Petrivtsi City Council that the appeal had taken place and had been rejected. This all took place, it transpires, on 5 July this year.
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