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KIEV, August 30 (Itar-Tass) — Ukrainian police detained two Opposition activists who participated in August 24 rallies, marking the country's Independence Day, the press service of the Interior Ministry reported.
Criminal cases against the detainees were opened under Article 296, Part 3 of Ukraine's Criminal Code ("hooliganism"). The police did not name the detainees.
"Taking into account the fact that gross violation of public order was obviously motivated by disrespect for the society (incorrect slogans, calls for ignoring court rulings, etc), and was accompanied by resistance to government representatives who were performing their duties to protect the public order, the activists may be imprisoned for a period of two to 5 years, in accordance with the above (Criminal Code) article," the Ministry said.
Police have been questioning rally participants in the past few days. It summoned for questioning deputy chairman of the Batkivshchina (Fatherland) Party Alexander Turchinov, leader of the For Ukraine Party Vyacheslav Kirilenko and lawmaker, Hero of Ukraine Levka Lukyanenko.
The Opposition said the authorities had summoned for questioning 18 lawmakers, public activists and ordinary citizens who had taken part in August 24 rallies.
The Interior Ministry’s press service reminded that on August 23, Kiev's district administrative court banned rallies, marches and assemblies by political parties in central Kiev on August 24.
The court's ruling was ignored and on the day which marked the 20th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, political associations staged a rally, during which activists tried to march to the places banned by the court's decision.
They broke through a police cordon, inflicted injuries on police and damaged steel fencing.