16:03 06.12.2013

Amnesty International starts global action to ensure fair trial for detained Ukrainian protesters

3 min read

Amnesty International has started a global indefinite action to ensure a fair trial of the protesters who were detained during pro-European rallies in Kyiv, and is collecting signatures for a petition to President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych to respect the right to peaceful assembly.

"On the day of the launch of our most ambitious annual event - the Letter Writing Marathon - we also start the action that is aimed at achieving justice for the prisoners of Bankova Street (the site of the presidential administration in Kyiv). Today, members and supporters of the organization worldwide will begin to write letters of appeal to the prosecutor general, calling for a fair trial for all prisoners," Director of Amnesty International in Ukraine Tetiana Mazur was quoted at the organization's Web site.

Judging by the recent events in Ukraine the situation with the violation of the right to peaceful protests in Ukraine "has already reached boiling point," she said.

Apart from the international action, the organization has proposed that Ukrainians sign a petition addressed to Yanukovych with a demand to respect Ukraine's commitments in the area of human rights and to protect their right to peaceful assembly.

"We are urging President Yanukovych to ensure there is a prompt, effective and independent investigation into the abusive use of force by the Berkut riot police on November 30 and December 1, and to bring the perpetrators to justice," Mazur said.

On November 21, the Ukrainian government decided to suspend the preparations for signing an association agreement with the European Union. On that day, supporters of Ukraine's European integration organized protests on Kyiv's Independence Square via social networking sites.

The agreement was not signed at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius on November 29. Berkut riot police units forcibly dispersed a rally of supporters of Ukraine's integration with the European Union on Independence Square in Kyiv at about 0400 on November 30. Thirty-five protesters were brought to the Shevchenkivsky district police department. As many people were later reported to have sought medical attention. On November 30, Ukrainians angered by the incident started gathering on Sofiyska Square.

On December 1, protesters clashed with police on Kyiv's Bankova Street not far from the presidential administration. Police officers, journalists, and protesters were hurt in the clashes.

Opposition activists said the police had been attacked by saboteurs, who were bribed to provoke the police to use violence to disperse the rally.

The Interior Ministry later reported the detention of nine young men suspected of involvement in the Incidents on Bankova Street in Kyiv on December 1. They are suspected of resisting a law enforcement official, deliberately inflicting bodily injuries on a law enforcement official, organizing mass unrest and threatening the life of a law enforcement official.

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