war crimes in Ukraine

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Donetsk court accused of cruel mockery of Chornobyl clean-up workers

01.12.2011    source:
The Donetsk District Administrative Court summoned members of the former Chornobyl clean-up workers’ protest to a court hearing, forcing men in bad health to wait long hours and refusing to adjourn the hearing to allow them to come with a lawyer


During an evening hearing at the Donetsk District Administrative Court one of the former Chornobyl clean-up workers taking part in a protest against serious reduction in their pensions, Mykola Goncharov was taken ill and taken away by ambulance.

According to Donetsk human rights activist Maria Oliynyk, at about 3 in the afternoon she saw a court official appear outside the Donetsk regional Pension Fund where the men are holding their protest. And summon them to the court for 16.00.

The summons only told them that the hearing was on a suit brought by the State Executive Service. About 20 of the Chornobyl clean-up workers who are all invalids, led by Mykola Goncharov, went to the court. They waited however until 18.04 for the court hearing to begin.

Mr Goncharov said that he had not seen the content of the present suit, and that he still did not have a copy of the Donetsk District Court’s ruling from 23 November banning the protest actions.

He also asked that the court hearing be adjourned to daytime hours on any day since they had already had to wait an exhausting couple of hours, that it was after the end of the court’s working day. He also asked for the evening hearing to be adjourned since they had arrived without a lawyer. The court rejected this application.

Maria Oliynyk says that Mykola Goncharov was taken ill and an ambulance was called for him. She also says that the court would have continued the hearing, but was forced to take a half-hour break as the claimant had not provided the necessary documents.

She calls the present court hearing insulting mockery of invalids, and notes that there are some criminal norms, for example allowing night court hearings. That was the case when the banned gatherings to mark Independence Day and when they banned the Chornobyl men’s protests, supposedly in connection with a terrorist threat.

From a report at Ukrainsky Tyzhden  Photo from the BBC Ukrainian Service

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