New anti-protest laws in Ukraine may limit people’s freedoms – UN
New, controversial laws restricting activists’ rights, including the right to freely assemble, were adopted by the Ukrainian Parliament on Jan. 16, Russian magazine Sobstvennik reported Jan. 21.
“The new laws adopted in Ukraine may limit such fundamental rights as freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, and they envisage penalties that include imprisonment for such violations,” Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the media.
The laws signed by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich included a law on blocking access to residential and public buildings, as well as transport routes, to demonstrators.
Additional changes also include the banning of interference to governmental information systems, a law on the dissemination of illegal information, and a ban on libel and extremist statements, Russian newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported.
Mass protests in Kiev against the Ukrainian government began Jan. 19. Demonstrations escalated into armed clashes between the opposition and the Ukrainian police.
During further clashes on Jan. 22 one protester was shot dead on Grushevskogo Street in Kiev. The 20-year-old man was wounded in the head, neck and chest and died within half an hour. The victim, Sergey Nigoyan, was from Dnepropetrovsk, Ukrainian newspaper Ukrainskaya Pravda wrote.
Later, on the same day, another protester was killed by gunshot. His/her identity was not yet been established, the Ukrainian media reported.