• Topics / Human Rights Violations associated with EuroMaidan
Yanukovych’s mysterious guards at Mezhyhirya
During the AutoMaidan car rally protest to Mezhyhirya, the president’s controversial residence was guarded by Berkut officers and a police unit with concealed stripes and other signs which could identify them.where you can see that the officers have yellow and grey patches where there should be identifying shoulder stripes.
This is in clear infringement of the Police Act and has been noted on a number of occasions by the civic initiative OZON. Back in May 2013, OZON publicly demanded that the Interior Ministry explain who the men in black were who obstructed a peaceful protest in defence of freedom of peaceful assembly. The men in black had bullet-proof vests, rubber batons, walkie-talkies and other special devices, yet nothing to identify them, although they were obviously working closely with the police including the Berkut riot police.
It is simply illegal to use officers whose unit cannot be identified, however it is also a major problem that Berkut riot police generally wear masks, and carry nothing to identify each specific officer. Given the violent measures used against peaceful protesters, especially on Nov 30, but most recently against former Interior Minister and political prisoner, Yury Lutsenko on Jan 10, this makes it next to impossible to identify specific officers guilty of the brutal beatings.
It was for this reason that protesters on Friday evening forced a few Berkut officers to remove their masks and photographed them.
The AutoMaidan rally on Sunday was part of the greater EuroMaidan demonstration, the first in 2014 which gathered over 10 thousand people.
The car drivers planned to hand over a summons to a people’s court on Maidan Nezalezhnosti.
The road to the president’s residence was blocked and the adjacent territory guarded by special force units. There was also heavy equipment on the road to Novi Petrivtsi, the village next to the vast estate, with KamAZ trucks with sand.
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