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Ukrainian president signs amnesty bill, repeals anti-protest law

English.news.cn   2014-02-01 00:25:50
 • Yanukovych on Friday signed into law a bill that grants amnesty to all detained protesters.
 • The law envisages that the police would free all protesters arrested during protests since Nov. 21.
 • Protests in Ukraine, which began last November, turned violent on Jan. 19.

KIEV, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Friday signed into law a bill that grants amnesty to all detained protesters and approved the repeal of controversial legislation that has fueled the mass riots in Ukraine.

Yanukovych signed the bill into force despite being on sick leave over acute respiratory disease Thursday.

The amnesty law envisages that the police would free all protesters arrested during demonstrations since Nov. 21, on conditions that they abandon the buildings they have seized within 15 days.

The opposition leaders have earlier rejected the amnesty law, because of the conditional terms. However, opposition welcomed the repeal of the laws, which impose ban on unauthorized tents in public areas, prohibit wearing of masks and helmets during public assembly, and allow a jail term of up to five years for those who block public buildings.

The amnesty bill and the scrap of controversial legislation are part of the series of concessions from Yanukovych to opposition aimed at ending the two-month protests, which left at least four people dead and hundreds others, including police officers, injured.

On Thursday, Yanukovych complained that the authorities had met their commitments to resolving the crisis, but opposition leaders continued to escalate the situation, encouraging people to take to the streets in freezing temperatures.

Protests in Ukraine, which began last November to back the country's European integration, turned violent on Jan. 19, when radical activists attacked riot police with fireworks and petrol bombs.

During the two-week or so unrest, 234 people were detained, 140 of them were arrested.


News Analysis: No end seen to Ukraine's crisis despite compromises

KIEV, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine's wave of protests seems unlikely to subside any time soon, despite parliament scrapping controversial anti-protest laws and the government stepping down.

Activists say they will continue to stage demonstrations, pressing for fulfillment of all their demands, including early presidential and parliamentary elections, release of all detained protesters and a review of the constitution. Full story

Protests in Ukraine likely pre-planned: official

KIEV, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Recent anti-government protests in Ukraine could have been planned in advance, a senior official said Friday.

"We have information that the mass protests, which began in Kiev on Nov. 21 last year, were not a spontaneous movement, but were planned beforehand," Oleg Gnativ, deputy chief of the Interior Ministry's investigation department, told reporters. Full story

Editor: Tang Danlu
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