Friday, January 17, 2014

Ukraine Cracks Down on Dissent

Ukraine's parliament rushed through wide-ranging powers Thursday to suppress opposition protests and label non-governmental organizations as "foreign agents" if they receive money from abroad. The measures threaten jail terms for protesters who block entrances to government buildings and 15 days in detention for those who take part in demonstrations not sanctioned by the police, even if peaceful. Protesters also face up to 15 days in detention for covering their faces with masks or helmets. People will also be detained for 15 days if they set up tents, stages or other makeshift structures without approval from city authorities. The move is apparently aimed at the thousands of people who have joined anti-government protests on Kiev's Independence Square, known as Maidan. The United States on Thursday condemned the parliament of Ukraine's decision to pass wide-ranging laws severely restricting the right to protest as undemocratic. “Both the process and the substance of the Rada's actions today cast serious doubt on Ukraine’s commitment to democratic norms,” the US State Department said in a statement.

No comments:

Post a Comment