July 23, 2011 By

Ban on Free Speech: Violence Escalates in Ukraine

2_5Aggression surged up in downtown Kiev, Ukraine, as hundreds of armed protestors turned hostile breaking through a police blockade and storming the parliament on Sunday. The demonstrations were triggered by the new laws curbing protests and free speech. According to the law enforced, unauthorized stages or use of loudspeakers in public places and the wearing of face masks or hard hats are banned. Those who take part in “mass disorder” would be facing heavy prison sentences.

The strikers attacked the riot police with stun grenades, sticks and fire extinguishers and set vehicles on fire. Opposition leader and a former boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, tried to stop the clashes between the police and the protestors who wore hard hats and gas masks and got himself sprayed with a chemical fire extinguisher. Protesters hurled fireworks and other missiles at the officials who protected themselves with shields. The clashes extended into night with the police using water cannon against demonstrators.

Klitschko said that he would be meeting with the President Viktor Yanukovich for resolving the political crisis. The interior ministry reports say that around thirty officers had been injured, with more than ten taken to hospital. Four are reported to be in a serious condition.

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