23:18 20.02.2014

Rada condemns use of force causing deaths, bans counter-terrorism operations in Ukraine

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has condemned the use of force that has led to deaths of people, and banned counter-terrorism operations, which were announced by chiefs of the Security Service of Ukraine, or the SBU.

The enactment was backed by 236 out of the 238 MPs registered in the session hall for voting on Thursday evening.

The parliament "has strongly condemned" the use of force against peaceful citizens, as well as tortures and crimes against humanity, an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent reported.

Lawmakers stress that the SBU, the Interior Ministry and other paramilitary agencies should "immediately stop the use of force against citizens of Ukraine."

The Rada also outlawed counter-terrorism operations that were announced by the SBU and the Counter-Terrorism Center on February 19.

Lawmakers barred chiefs and commanders of interior troops and the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the SBU and other government agencies from carrying out any counter-terrorism operations, as they contravene the Constitution of Ukraine.

The SBU has been tasked to immediately revoke its decisions on such operations.

In keeping with the parliament's enactment, the Interior Ministry should stop blocking roads and bridges, squares and streets in Kyiv and other cities and towns. Besides, the ministry should send all law enforcement officers back to the places of their permanent deployment.

What is more, the Defense Ministry of Ukraine should prohibit the involvement of the country's armed forces in the counter-terrorism operations.

The lawmakers also instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to cancel its decision to restrict entry of vehicles to Kyiv.

The enactment is to become effective since the day of its adoption.

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