Last Updated: Thursday, 23 November 2017, 12:01 GMT

Ukraine: Excessive force against protests must stop

Publisher Article 19
Publication Date 3 December 2013
Cite as Article 19, Ukraine: Excessive force against protests must stop, 3 December 2013, available at: [accessed 23 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Since 22 November, people across Ukraine began gathering to protest for greater integration with the European Union. Over the course of a week, a wave of protests sprang up in cities and towns in across the country, including thousands of people gathered in Independence Square in Kiev.

Early in the morning of 30 November police moved in to forcibly and without warning evict protesters from the square. The authorities reacted in attempts to supress protests. Over the weekend of 30 November to 1 December ARTICLE 19 received reports of police violence and that over 50 journalists and media workers, as well as 20 medical doctors had been targeted.

At a press conference in Kiev on 3 December 2013, ARTICLE 19 issued the following statement.

Commenting on the reaction of the authorities to a wave of demonstrations in Ukraine, Thomas Hughes, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19 said:

"We are seriously concerned that demonstrations are being restricted, in some places through the use of blanket bans. Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. Everyone has a voice and a right to be heard, which includes the right to protest peacefully. Arbitrary politically motivated restriction and blanket bans clearly violate international standards."

"The excessive use of force against peaceful demonstrators in Odessa and the capital Kiev must not be tolerated. The Ukrainian authorities must stand by their international obligations and protect the right to freedom of peaceful assembly."

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