Kyiv City Administration claims bans are initiated by the police
In anto the authoritative weekly Dzerkalo Tyzhnya, the Head of the Kyiv City State Administration [KCSA] has asserted that bans on the holding of protests in Kyiv depend on the position of the law enforcement bodies, and then on the courts.
“The Administration can only, on the basis of suggestions from the law enforcement bodies regarding various protests, submit applications to the court. Then the court decides whether to ban it or not”, he claimed.
Asked whether that meant that they were told which protests to ban by the police, he said that this was incorrect, they were told by Kyiv residents. “We carefully study written and verbal appeals, calls to the Call Centre, reports in the media, we organize public hearings, for example, on city strategy”.
Mr Popov stated: “We have not once banned anybody from holding any protests in Kyiv”.
It is, of course, true that the court bans, not the Administration, but it does this on the basis of applications from the Administration. At the time of the interview, it became known, for example, that the District Administrative Court in Kyiv had banned the protests in Kyiv by the former Chernobyl clean-up workers seeking full payment of their pensions.
Mr Popov went on to assert that if they are preparing for some serious events, then the interests of city residents and the country as a whole must not be restricted by one or other political force. “Regardless which”.
There has been a considerable increase in the number of applications for court bans, with no evidence at all that the courts weigh up these applications and may reject them.
Furthermore, whereas court bans were issued before the present government, there was considerably less use of the Code of Administrative Offences and Berkut riot police to implement them. Very often the bans were imposed, only to be ignored. This is less and less the case now, with police increasingly using very heavy-handed measures.