Berkut disperses and detains parents protesting against inadequate investigation into their children’s deaths

Parents of children killed in road accidents on Wednesday morning picketed the Mykolaiv Regional Department of Internal Affairs. They were protesting against procrastination in investigating the accidents and against the inaction of investigation bodies which enable those guilty of the death of young people to remain at liberty several years after the accidents.

A mother whose daughter died in a car accident organized the picket, which members of the right wing party VO Svoboda joined, although they were protesting against certain actions by the bodies of local self-government . There were, altogether, no more than 40 people.

Around 15 minutes before the announced start of the picket (10 a.m.), about 10 Berkut Special Forces officers appeared, circled the protesters and led them to the Central Police Station close by. All those detained were pushed through the cases of the internal courtyard despite the outrage expressed by those witnessing it.

The Deputy Head of the City Police Department, Oleksy Miroshnychenko came out to the picketers who had managed to remain on the street. He stated that the evening before, after the notification had been given that the picket would be held, an appeal from the Mykolaiv City Executive Committee had been lodged with the Mykolaiv District Administrative Court.
The court had ruled to restrict the right to hold protest actions in such places as the regional administration and regional prosecutor’s office. Miroshnychenko said that the application to hold the protest had been for up to 500 people, and asserted that there was no room for so many people either in front of the regional prosecutor’s office or outside the Regional Department of Internal Affairs He claimed that this could lead to traffic being stopped, though UNIAN points out that traffic is prohibited outside the Regional Department of Internal Affairs, and the other street involved is hardly busy.

The notification given by the parent’s group had spoken of 100 people taking part, while VO Svoboda had notified of around 300.
Miroshnychenko said that after they had established the identity of those detained and all the circumstances around the detention, and after the relevant documents had been drawn up, the protesters would be released. They are accused of infringing the order for holding peaceful gatherings according to Article 185 § 1 of the Administrative Code which carries punishment from a fine to administrative arrest.

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