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Peaceful language law protest banned from another site in Kharkiv

The court ban was again instigated by the City Council with the grounds raising questions about both the Council’s and court’s familiarity with the European Convention and European Court of Human Rights case law

Protests after the first reading of the contentious Kivalov - Kolesnichenko Language Law (Photo: AP)

Dmytro Pylypets, Coordinator of the indefinite protest over the extremely contentious language law which came into force on Friday says that the protesters have been stopped this time from protesting near the Monument to Taras Shevchenko in the centre of Kharkiv.

He says that the court ban was again on the application of the City Council. The Council’s lawyers once again claimed that the entirely peaceful protest by the Union of Ukrainian Youth and Young Prosvita would “be a real threat to the everyday lives of citizens not taking part in the event”.

Other pretexts given were that the protest was next to a road with heavy traffic; that the Shevchenko Park is getting ready for the honey market on 19 August and a flower exhibition to mark the Day of the City, and that the protesters will obstruct preparation of the park and the monument itself for Independence Day (24 August).

Dmytro Polypets says that the protesters weren’t even allowed to stand near the Shevchenko Monument for 8 hours.

As reported, on Friday the court banned the protest on Freedom Square.

The reasons then were also, shall we say, memorable. The court deemed that there was “a threat to the safety and life” both of the protesters and others.  It said that the protest could obstruct the traffic and adversely affect protestors’ health

“According to information from the Department of Health of the City Council the ongoing effect of a higher temperature and the Sun’s radiation adversely affects the physical state of the human organism, and weakens a person’s resistance to overheating. … the Kharkiv Police have provided information that the holding of such measures in the city centre requires deployment of a considerable contingent of officers, which will adversely affect the state of law and order in other districts of the city, force the traffic to be stopped on adjoining streets which will adversely affect the everyday lives of citizens not taking part in the event.”

The members of the Union of Ukrainian Youth and Young Prosvita are not about to give up and say that they will move to a new site, and keep doing so until the language law which President Yanukovych signed in spite of numerous calls to use his power of veto is cancelled.

New information from Radio Svoboda

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