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Activist Pavlo Khazan, of Friends of the Earth Ukraine, denounced on Wednesday the cooperation between the Police and thugs against the demonstrations that are taking place in the city of Dnipropetrovsk. He also made reference to torture in prisons and that the organization has no information about their colleague Vadim Shebanov, arrested on Sunday, during a peaceful protest. Not even Shebanov´s lawyers are allowed to go to the prison to find out about Shebanov, said Khazan.
On Monday, Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) demanded the urgent release of Shebanov, who was arrested while participating in a massive demonstration headed to the Regional Administration of Dnipropetrovsk. FoEI also demanded an investigation into the accusations of police abuse at social protests and the repeal of an antidemocratic package of laws imposed by the government on January 16, which fueled the demonstrations.
Mykola Azarov, Ukrainian Prime Minister, resigned on Tuesday in an attempt to reach peace in the country; a country that has been hit by protests since November, 2013, after the government opted not to sign an association agreement with the European Union (EU), in order to strengthen its ties with Russia. Mobilizations are stronger in Kiev, Ukraine´s capital city, but they are taking place in several cities, especially to the West of the country, which has a more European inclination than the East, which is more pro-Russia. According to the opposition, six demonstrators have been killed.
Ukranian President, Víktor Yanúkovich, accepted Azarov´s resignation and yesterday, the parliament repealed the antidemocratic laws.
In interview with Real World Radio, Khazan said that this repeal was an important step, but he expressed his concern over the situation of political prisoners, especially Shebanov, and warned about torture in prisons and the joint action of the police with criminals against the protests. The demonstrators demand the release of people who they consider “political prisoners”.
The repealed laws established stricter sentences for unauthorized demonstrations or the blocking of administrative buildings, they banned setting up tents in the city, punished the circulation of convoys with more than five vehicles and allowed for trials to take place without the presence of the people accused. The laws also banned public assemblies, criminalized international cooperation, deemed NGOs as “foreign agents”, restricted distribution of information and established repressive regulations on the activities of NGOs in general.
Nevertheless, yesterday, Parliament passed another package of four laws replacing the ones repealed. The new legislation includes amendments to the Criminal Code that introduce the charge of liability for denying or justifying crimes committed by fascists and of vandalism against monuments that honor soldiers and civilians who fought against Nazi invaders during World War II.
At the end of the interview with Real World Radio, Khazan gave thanks for the international solidarity expressed and called on everyone to be alert so that human, civil and political rights are respected in the country.
El pasado martes 26 de agosto Israel y Palestina acordaron un cese al fuego permanente, luego de una embestida del Ejército israelí contra la población de la Franja de Gaza que duró aproximadamente cincuenta días. La ofensiva asesinó más de 2130 gazatíes, la mayoría de ellos civiles, y destruyó por completo cerca de 17.000 hogares, así como escuelas, hospitales y refugios. Además, el sistema de distribución de agua corriente sufrió graves daños, y la única central eléctrica de la Franja fue bombardeada a propósito, dejando la población casi sin energía eléctrica. Este tenebroso panorama se suma al bloqueo permanente del cual es víctima la población de la Franja de Gaza, sobre el cual no hay expectativas de que Israel lo levante.
Nuestra edición de este viernes tiene dos bloques centrales: uno que se enfoca en Guatemala, con un gran triunfo en la lucha contra la Ley Monsanto y el aniversario de las consultas comunitarias sobre megaproyectos, y otro que nos acerca ecos del VI Encuentro del MAPDER en México.
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