Ukraine police disperse protest over rape case: media

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 18, 2013 7:28 PM
Ukraine police disperse protest over rape case: media

KIEV (Reuters) - Riot police dispersed a protest in central Kiev early on Friday over last month's rape of a woman who accused police officers of the crime, local media reported.

The city government had allowed the protest on Kiev's main square to be held on Thursday. But after some protesters set up tents to spend the night on the square, the authorities ordered them to leave and police arrived shortly afterwards, the Ukrainska Pravda newspaper reported.

It said police in riot gear then started snatching people out of a crowd of about 150 and taking them away while protesters sang the national anthem and chanted "Glory to Ukraine, death to enemies."

Police detained about 10 people, according to Interfax news agency.

Earlier this month, several hundred people took to the streets in Vradiyevka, 400 km (250 miles) south of Kiev, after reports circulated of the attack on a 29-year-old shop assistant who said she was beaten and raped by two policemen.

Angered by a suspected cover-up, locals tried to storm a police station and then attacked it with petrol bombs. The government has since sacked the regional prosecutor as well as the heads of the regional and town police.

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The two alleged rapists have been arrested.

More protests against police brutality and corruption have since taken place in different Ukrainian cities, although they were not violent.

Kiev's central square was the site of the 2004 "Orange Revolution" protests that derailed President Viktor Yanukovich's first campaign for the post.

Since winning the 2010 election, Yanukovich has been criticized by opponents and human rights groups for failing to address corruption and prevent abuse by law enforcers.

(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)