Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Ukraine: Arrested for requesting election results

Ukraine: Arrested for requesting election results

Amnesty International is concerned that the authorities in Ukraine continue to arrest people who exercise their right to peacefully protest, following the sentencing of six people in the town of Sumy for demanding to know the results of presidential elections in their district.

"It is important that Ukraine demonstrate to the world that it respects the right to freedom of expression in the run up to the second round of presidential elections later this month," the organization said today.

The six sentenced were among a group of election monitors and members of the public who had gathered at a polling station in Sumy on the night of 31 October to ask for the results of the vote count for the presidential elections to be displayed according to the regulations. According to reports election officials refused to post the results and called the police. Ten people were charged on that night with insubordination to the police and were released shortly afterwards. Then on 13 November police detained all ten people again after going to their homes at 6am and in many cases taking them from their beds. Six of them were sentenced to 10 days' administrative detention according to the Code on Administrative Infringements. Lawyers and families of the accused were not admitted to the trial and were not told where the detainees were taken.

"There are strong indications that the six people have been arbitrarily arrested for exercising their right to freedom of expression," Amnesty International said.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

"Authorities in Sumy have violated international standards by refusing to admit lawyers and families of the accused to the trial and by failing to inform them of the detainees' whereabouts."

Amnesty International considers everybody arrested for the peaceful expression of their views to be a prisoner of conscience and calls for their immediate and unconditional release.


The first round in the presidential elections in Ukraine were held on 31 October and resulted in a narrow win for the opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) criticized the conduct of the election campaign which was marked by overwhelmingly biased media coverage in favour of the government candidate Viktor Yanukovych. There were reports of pressure on voters to vote for particular candidates and irregularities at polling stations. The second round of the elections will be held on 21 November.

Viktor Yushchenko won the most number of votes in Sumy and it is alleged that the electoral commission was attempting to falsify the results and for that reason was reluctant to post the results. Family members, lawyers and members of the public, who had gathered outside the court on 13 November, were reportedly beaten and sprayed with tear gas when they attempted to stop police officers to ask where the detainees were being taken. Three members of the public were reportedly treated in hospital for chemical burns to the face. According to the Ministry of the Interior three policemen were also injured. A group of students are currently holding a hunger strike in the main square of Sumy to protest at the arrests.

View all documents on Ukraine at

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines

UN News: Aid Access Is Key Priority

Among the key issues facing diplomats is securing the release of a reported 199 Israeli hostages, seized during the Hamas raid. “History is watching,” says Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths. “This war was started by taking those hostages. Of course, there's a history between Palestinian people and the Israeli people, and I'm not denying any of that. But that act alone lit a fire, which can only be put out with the release of those hostages.” More

Save The Children: Four Earthquakes In a Week Leave Thousands Homeless

Families in western Afghanistan are reeling after a fourth earthquake hit Herat Province, crumbling buildings and forcing people to flee once again, with thousands now living in tents exposed to fierce winds and dust storms. The latest 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit 30 km outside of Herat on Sunday, shattering communities still reeling from strong and shallow aftershocks. More

UN News: Nowhere To Go In Gaza

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said some 1.1M people would be expected to leave northern Gaza and that such a movement would be “impossible” without devastating humanitarian consequences and appeals for the order to be rescinded. The WHO joined the call for Israel to rescind the relocation order, which amounted to a “death sentence” for many. More

Access Now: Telecom Blackout In Gaza An Attack On Human Rights

By October 10, reports indicated that fixed-line internet, mobile data, SMS, telephone, and TV networks are all seriously compromised. With significant and increasing damage to the electrical grid, orders by the Israeli Ministry of Energy to stop supplying electricity and the last remaining power station now out of fuel, many are no longer able to charge devices that are essential to communicate and access information. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.