Amnesty International’s office in Ukraine demands to release all those detained for using Communist symbols during rallies across Ukraine on May 9. The organization’s press service released respective statement on May 10.
‘On May 9, detentions of peaceful demonstrators took place as they used Soviet symbols. We insist that the Ukrainian government should provide freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful demonstrations for all citizens. Detention of peaceful citizens and banning Soviet symbols are unacceptable things. Such steps do not liberate Ukraine from the Soviet heritage and draconian laws; on the contrary, they make our country and these things closer’, the ’message says.
Oksana Pokalchuk, the director of Amnesty International in Ukraine, added that the ban of Soviet symbols on the legal level ‘breaches the right for freedom of speech, while detaining peaceful activists is a step towards limiting freedom of speech and peaceful assemblies by the Ukrainian government.’
‘We demand to release the detained individuals. We also demand an effective and non-biased investigation into all cases of violence that took place during these rallies,’ the statement concludes.
As 112 International wrote, veterans of Donbas conflict and their supporters got into a fight with those carrying banners and flags with Soviet symbols in Dnipro city on May 9. Six policemen and eight civilians were injured; 15 were detained.
Similar action took place in Kyiv and several other regions of Ukraine.