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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, Oct 18, 2004, 9:00 am ET

    Civic group claims political repressions are intensifying in Ukraine

    The Ukrainian electoral campaign has turned into a dirty struggle of the authorities against its own citizens, according to "PORA", a civic watchdog group formed by students in Ukraine.

    In a press release distributed today, PORA accuses the current administration of "striving to preserve control over the system by all possible means, including falsifications, repressions, arrests and violations of human rights." Citing the alleged attempt to poison the main opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, the group further accuses authorities of taking repressive measures against PORA members and its offices.

    PORA suggests that a "Belorussian Variant" could happen in Ukraine. Belarus' ruthless leader, Alexander Lukashenko ("the last dictator") just pushed through a constitutional change that would permit him to extend his tenure as president.

    The following is a list of charges made by PORA with associated links to additional information on its website:

    On Friday, October 15, 2004 the Kyiv office of civic campain PORA was agressively occupied by armed policemen from the special division called "Berkut". The police entered the office with force and started searching for the evidence of hooligan activities of PORA.

    After several unsuccessful searches inside of the office, a package was placed stealthily, and the police claimed that explosives were found in the office.

    Full PHOTO coverage of the night events in PORA office in Kyiv is available at

    As a result the office, where educational and informational materials of campain PORA were preserved, was sealed up. Within two hours after police arrived, the tenants of the house were evacuated.

    In addition to preventing mass media and members of the Ukrainian Parliament from entering the office, the faked "mine clearing" was followed by numerous arrests and illegal detentions of PORA activists. Sergiy Salnikov, Konstyantyn Polyakov and Eduard Leonov were brutally grabbed into police car and transported into unknown direction.

    Pavlo Zyubyuk was violently beaten by two strangers.

    These illegal repressive measures continued the long BLACK LIST OF REPRESSIONS against PORA activists, which can be found at PORA home page in the CHRONICLE of REPRESSIONS.

    Saturday, which is considered to be a day-off for the law-enforcement bodies and for average citizens, was marked by continuing and increasingly anti-democratic activities of the police and authorities.

    Prosecutor of Kiev initiated a criminal case against the civic campaign PORA based on the fact of found previously explosives by articles "terrorism" and "anti-state activities". Three activists of PORA were announced as wanted by Criminal Investigation Department.

    These actions were protested by the MPs from the opposition bloc Our Ukraine, who declared that this criminal case was a provocation fabricated by regime. They are ready to present evidence (photoes, witnesses and film) proving that charges are framed up.

    The persecutions by police were not limited to the territory of the capital, but ranged throughout all regions of Ukraine. On Sunday, October 17, 2004 the special police departments of fighting organized crime came and started checks in three offices of PORA in Lviv.

    A second, even more absurd step was made in Kyiv. The policemen held 3 illegal searches at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, one of the most well known and esteemed educational establishments of Ukraine and the only university in Kyiv, where no repressive measures were undertaken against PORA and other student activists.

    If you believe in freedom, if you think that it is TIME to stop repressions, sign our letter of Freedom and Democracy,com_mosforms/mosform,1/Itemid,110/

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