• Topics / Freedom of peaceful assembly
• Topics / Human Rights Violations associated with EuroMaidan
Traffic police detain AutoMaidan leader near Kyiv
The AutoMaidan car rally to Mezhyhirya, the former state residence privatized through a number of corrupt set ups. One of those particularly instrumental in uncovering the secrecy around Mezhyhirya was Tetyana Chornovol. She was not at the car rally, having been savagely beaten and left for dead on Dec 25
Traffic police officers have stopped the car of Serhiy Poyarkov, Kyiv artist and one of the leaders of AutoMaidan. The incident began early on Monday evening, on a road into Kyiv. The traffic officers are refusing to let Poyarov’s car go on unless he signs the protocol of what they are claiming was an administrative offence committed on Dec 29 during the huge car rally to the president’s controversial residence at Mezhyhirya.
Liga.new reports that around 10 AutoMaidan activists have gathered at the scene together with roughly the same number of traffic officers. The activists say that one of the traffic officers hit MP assistant Dmytro Andriyivsky in the face. The latter had arrived to try to resolve the conflict.
The activists are now awaiting the arrival of a police team so that they can lodge formal complaints over the unlawful detention of Poyarkov’s car, as well as the blow to Andriyivsky.
Traffic police inspector Serhiy Honcharenko has told Liga.news that the car was stopped on the basis of a traffic officer’s report from Dec 29. He was, however, unable to name this officer, and refused to say who had issued the order to stop Poyarkov’s car. Nor was he able to explain what legal justification there could be for stopping the car on the basis of a report alone.
As reported, the traffic police have been making entirely unlawful visits, calls and “invitations” to their offices following the car rally to the sumptuous estates of the president, prime minister and other high-ranking officials on Dec 29, as part of the EuroMaidan protests. The police that day tried to block the road, but gave up, probably because of the huge number of cars involved. The officers who appear at activists’ homes or ring them assert that the person failed to stop on that day in response to a traffic officer’s demand. Any demand must be addressed at a specific driver, and given the number of cars, it is unlikely that they were in fact made. The traffic police activities seem clearly aimed at intimidating protesters, and frightening others from joining the protests. Thus far all such heavy-handed measures have had the opposite effect.
All attempts by Ukrainian citizens to express their democratic right to gather peacefully near Mezhyhirya have resulted in court bans, detentions, and other repressive measures. More details here: Traffic police deployed against EuroMaidan protesters
Public outrage and comments from legal experts regarding the measures now being taken by traffic police officers led to promises from the latter that the visits would stop. The promises were, however, broken that same day.
The traffic police have also claimed that one of their officers was hit by a car driven by an AutoMaidan activist. Numerous witnesses report that the officer walked right up to the car which was driving slowly and fell, pretending to have been hit (see: Sanctions against Fabricated Prosecutions)