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UN Rights Commissioner Condemns New Ukrainian Laws

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay (file photo)
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay (file photo)
The United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, has called on Ukrainian authorities to suspend implementation of new laws imposing strict conditions on the ability of antigovernment demonstrators to hold protests.

In a written statement, Pillay described the package of measures as falling short of international human rights standards.

Pillay said she is “particularly concerned by the potential that these laws have to curtail the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, the right to information, [and] the right of civil society to work freely.”

She cites concerns over a recent law forcing NGOs that receive international funding to register as "foreign agents."

The statement also described as “very worrying” the past several days of clashes in Kyiv between protesters and security forces.

The new measures, approved last week, significantly increase fines and impose jail terms for Ukrainians found guilty of unauthorized street protests.
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