Defenders of the Park Named After M. Horkyi Can Be Compensated for Kharkiv Police Inaction

The Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine (VASU) has found that the materials of the case of police inaction during the beating of activists in the Park named after M. Horkyi contain no evidence of lawful actions of policemen.

Let us recall that in 2010 activists defended the Kharkiv Central Park named after M.Horkyi, where the illegal felling of trees was started. Trees were planted 117 years ago by the students and teachers of the Gymnasium. This part of the park survived even during the occupation of Kharkiv in 1941-1943, when the trees were cut down for firewood.

Unidentified “men in black” with batons and sticks came to stop unarmed activists. People, who stood up for the park, were mercilessly beaten with full police inaction. Moreover, policemen were often present during beating of the park defenders, and did not attempt to stop any offense.

Activists applied to the court, but Kharkiv servants of Themis have not noticed any malfunction in the police actions: neither the trial court, nor the court of appeal. Eventually the case was filed to the VASU, which cancelled previous judgments and remitted the case for a new trial, saying: “Even during an illegal citizens’ protest, it does not exempt law enforcement officers from the obligation to protect the public, including the plaintiffs, from violence and encroachment on their lives and health of third parties”. It also found that evidence of the police actions legality is absent in previous judgments.

Shall the activists achieve a decisive victory, they will be able to bring the management of Kharkiv police to responsibility and obtain compensation for moral damage.

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