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Police detain activists at protest in support of Dmytro Groisman

During a protest in support of Dmytro Groisman outside the Prosecutor General’s Office four activists were detained and accused of failing to comply with the court ban on protests outside this State institution. At the same time the latest court hearing, which was supposed to be the last, was taking place in Vinnytsa.

When the members of the protest arrived at the Prosecutor General’s Office a court official read out the order from Kyiv’s District Administrative Court. This order, issued on 28 February 2013 by Judge O. Ohurtsov, bans any peaceful gatherings outside the Prosecutor General’s Office and in the area adjoining it till the end of April. The protesters refused to disperse at which point the organizers were detained.

The Case of Dmytro Groisman

On 15 October 2010 as part of a criminal investigation over pornography on a Live Journal blog, the police carried out a search of the flat of Vinnytsa Human Rights Group Coordinator Dmytro Groisman, as well as the office of the organization. In December 2010  Dmytro Groisman was officially accused of two criminal offences and four episodes, specifically according to Article 301 § 1 of the Criminal Code “Production, sale and circulation of pornographic items and Article 338 § 1 “desecration of State symbols”  The case was initiated over an anonymous report.

The first episode involved the posting of a photo on his blog depicting a statuette with a phallic symbol and a copy of Ukraine’s Constitution. The photo was made as an illustration to an interview in a Kyiv journal during discussion of the law on possession and circulation of pornography.

The second episode was the posting of a collage from a site with its URL given on the day that the results of the first round of the last presidential elections were announced. The collage shows former President Yushchenko holding out his hands to an erect penis. The third episode: a posted link to a video in which Russian political figures are shown engaged in acts of a sexual nature; the fourth: the posting of abstract graphic images which were published and widely circulated by an official German foundation fighting AIDS with instructions on safe sex to prevent the spread of HIV.

The case is being examined by the Leninsky District Court in Vinnytsa and Dmytro Groisman has had to sign an undertaking not to leave the city.

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