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Conviction for anti-Yanukovych banner overturned


On 16 July the Kyiv Court of Appeal revoked the ruling issued by the Obolon District Court which had found against activists from the Democratic Alliance Party over a protest along the route taken by Yanukovych’s cortege involving a banner reading “Yanukovych, get out of Kyiv”.

According to one of the activsts, Andriy Bohdanovych, the ruling yet again confirms that the party’s protest was legal, unlike the arbitrary behaviour of the law enforcement bodies.

As reported, on 3 June four members of the Democratic Alliance party were detained for a peaceful protest on Bohatyrska St where Yanukovych’s cortege would be passing.  The Head of the Department for Public Order, Serhiy Boiko was present and ordered that the activists be detained if they refused to unfurl their banners (reading: “Yanukovych, get out of Kyiv” and “Kyiv needs elections”.)  He claimed that the banners contained offensive statements without specifying what exactly was offensive.

At around 9.15 the leader of the party, Vasyl Hatsko was detained. 

Later the police stated that the activists had been detained over planners which supposedly “insult and denigrate the President’s honour and dignity”. The four detained were those carrying the banner “Yanukovych, get out of Kyiv”

They claimed also that they had obstructed transport (though did not explain how since they were not on the road), and that the activists had refused to obey the legitimate demands of police officers.

The court found all four activists guilty of wilfully disobeying police officers and imposed fines.  

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