As of Jan. 16, even traffic jams are banned in Ukraine. If a new law rubber-stamped by parliament on this day is signed by President Viktor Yanukovych, any unsanctioned movement of five or more vehicles will be enough to revoke a driver’s license for up to two years and confiscate the vehicle.
The law, of course, was not designed to counter traffic jams, but to crack down on AutoMaidan, an initiative that takes protests to politicians’ homes. It was ironically touted as a bill to improve public safety and fix holes in the law on the status of judges. But it instead tramples on many human rights while emulating Russian know-how.
The bill was registered on Jan. 14 and then passed with 239 votes in the 450-seat legislature by show of hands. Once approved by Yanukovych, we will be able to say that here in Ukraine, we once had human rights. Now we’re still human. But we have next to no rights.