Yesterday, the Supreme Court of Ukraine finally restored justice in the case of Olexiy Vyerentsov and ruled that the police and courts violated his right to freedom of peaceful assembly. However, it took three years and a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights to do so.
It will be recalled that Olexiy Vyerentsov was sentenced to three days of administrative detention for holding a demonstration near public prosecutor's office in Lviv and refusing to obey police officers who demanded to stop the rally. Galytsky District Court in the city of Liviv has passed this ruling without allowing Vyerentsov’s lawyer to attend the court session. Later, it became known that the Lviv Court of Appeal also considered that peaceful assembly requires authorities’ permission.
The European Court of Human Rights (UCHR) pointed out that the Vyerentsov’s case ‘brings to light a structural problem – a ‘legislative lacuna’ concerning freedom of assembly, which has remained in Ukraine since the end of the Soviet Union’. The court suggested that Ukraine should develop a legislation regarding peaceful assembly and awarded Mr. Vyerentsov a compensation of 6,000 EUR.
Following the UCHR’s ruling, the Supreme Court of Ukraine reversed the rulings of Lviv courts and finally ceased administrative proceedings against Olexiy Vyerentsov.
Olexiy Vyerentsov’s case was supported by the Strategic Litigations Fund of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.