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Kiev court arrests organizer of pro-Crimea rallies

The leader of "People's Initiative" Anton Davidchenko accuse of "infringement of territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine"

ODESSA, March 20, /ITAR-TASS/. A district court in the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Wednesday March 19 ruled on two-month arrest of Anton Davidchenko, an organizer of rallies in support of Crimea in Odessa.

Davidchenko, chairman of the Coordination Council of regional public organizations "People's Initiative," is accused of "encroaching on Ukraine's territorial integrity and inviolability." His supporters warned that they would stage mass protests against the court's ruling.

"His arrest will not stop rallies in Odessa that gather thousands of people, as those who detained him had probably hoped. We'll stage a new protest on Sunday, at which we'll demand his release, aside from reiterating our demands for referendum on Ukraine's decentralization and granting Russian the status of state language," a People's Initiative leader Yevgeny Anokhin told Tass.

"We'll demand an end to the political reprisals unleashed by those who had come to power in Kiev. We won't leave the square until Anton has been set free," Anokhin underlined.

Leader of the Ukrainian party "Rodina" Igor Markin called Davidchenko's arrest "an act of political reprisals" by new Kiev authorities. He said "at the present time, there are no separatists or terrorists in Odessa to arrest and imprison.