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Bar Association welcomes repeal of Ukraine anti-protest laws

30 January 2014

New Zealand Bar Association welcomes the repeal of Ukraine’s anti-protest laws and supports the International Bar Association’s call for release of arrested peaceful protestors

The New Zealand Bar Association welcomes the Ukraine Parliament’s vote repealing a number of recently enacted harsh anti-protest laws but supports calls by the International Bar Association urging the Ukraine Government to abolish these laws in their entirety, given they represent a regressive step for a state committed to democracy and the rule of law.

Of concern to the New Zealand Bar Association is the introduction of an amnesty for persons who committed ‘crimes’ during the period 21 November – 26 December 2013. This extends an amnesty to those who allegedly used excessive force against peaceful protestors and would include law enforcement officers. This would give rise to an atmosphere of impunity and threaten the Ukraine Government’s commitment to upholding the rule of law.

Also of concern is the Ukraine Parliament’s approval of a measure offering amnesty to protestors arrested during anti-government demonstrations only on the basis that protestors abandon buildings they have seized.

ENDS

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