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Kyiv Protesters Demand End To 'Political Repression'


Protesters outside the presidential administration demanded the end of political repression in Ukraine.

Protesters outside the presidential administration demanded the end of political repression in Ukraine.

KYIV -- Some 150 protesters have picketed the presidential administration building in Kyiv demanding an end to alleged acts of "political repression," RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Oleksandr Danylyuk, coordinator of anti-tax-reform protests held in Ukraine in November-December, addressed fellow protesters after briefly falling ill during the demonstration.

Danylyuk told them that if the Kyiv city authorities charged the antitax reform movement with "premeditated destruction of city property," then the same charges should be brought against President Viktor Yanukovych's Party of Regions, which set up similar tents during protests held on Independence Square in 2007 that lasted for several days.

Several thousand small- and medium-sized-business owners and opposition activists protested from November 22 to December 3 in Kyiv, with many of them camping on the square.

They were opposed to a Tax Code adopted by parliament in mid-November.

The protesters' tent camp was forcibly cleared by the police on December 3. Police say that after the tents were removed it was discovered that protesters had hammered iron spikes into the paving stones, causing considerable damage.

An investigation was then opened into the "premeditated destruction of city property."

Danylyuk said that the activists demanded the government stop its persecution of the anti-tax-reform movement and members of the nationalist Trizub (Trident) organization, several of whom were arrested last week.

He added that all unscheduled investigations of the activities of small and medium-sized businesses and the confiscation of property in the country should cease immediately.

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