Protestors against language law chained themselves in Zaporizhia

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July 7, 2012, 9:29 a.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Prosvita member chained himself and his six-year-old son near the building of Zaporizhia regional administration

A man chained himself to the ramp outside the building of Zaporizhia city administration in protest against a judicial ban on demonstrations against Tuesday's bill on languages, which allows more extensive use of Russian.

On Thursday evening, about 100 nationalists gathered on the square in front of the administration headquarters for a demonstration that had been banned by a local court earlier that day. The demonstrators, who represented the Prosvita regional party, had been going to protest the law and "defend the Ukrainian language."

In protest against the court ban, Prosvita leader Oleh Tkachenko chained himself to the administration building ramp and a fellow party member wound chains around himself and his six-year-old son.

Tkachenko said that, while police were away looking for a pair of pliers to cut his chains, other nationalists were able to hold a rally in protest against the controversial law. "Having sorted out the chains, [police] were pulling me toward a car by the arms while [protesters] were pulling me backward," he said.

Tkachenko said he had been taken to a police station and afterward to a court, "which issued me with an admonition."

Police told Interfax-Ukraine that only one person was detained during the event.

Prosvita activists told the agency that they were planning to return to the square next to the administration headquarters on Friday and join a demonstration by journalists from a local newspaper who claimed on Thursday that the paper's editorial policy was under pressure from authorities and that it had its copy censored.


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