Protest held in Prague Against Alleged Repressions In Ukraine

PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- About 100 people took part in a rally against alleged political repressions in Ukraine, staged outside the Greek Catholic Church of St Clement in Prague centre Sunday by the Ukrainian Freedom association.

Bohdan Danylyshyn

The organisers called on Ukrainian authorities to abandon undemocratic interventions against representatives of patriotic organisations.

They praised the Czech Republic that granted political asylum to former Ukrainian economy minister Bohdan Danylyshyn recently.

A representative of Ukrainian Freedom said Ukraine now holds in prison 14 people from patriotic organisations.

He said the police apply inappropriate pressure, including physical torture, against the organisations.

Police bullying also targets some journalists criticising the current situation in Ukraine, the man said.

Ukraine has long been divided into the pro-Russian east and nationalist west.

Czech diplomacy granted political asylum to Danylyshyn in spite of protests by Ukrainian authorities in mid-January.

Ukrainian media interpreted the Czech decision as proving the European Union's conviction that the opposition in Ukraine is faced with political persecution.

The Ukrainian government's control bodies recently announced that they estimate the damage caused under Danylyshyn at an equivalent of 34 billion crowns.

The Ukrainian opposition says Danylyshyn's persecution is an expression of political despotism and President Viktor Yanukovich's effort to apply repressions against pro-western orientated parties.

Source: Czech News Agency