Yesterday’s banning of the Communist Party in Ukraine is a flagrant violation of freedom of expression and association and should be immediately overturned, said Amnesty International.
The District Administrative Court of Kyiv upheld the request of the Ukrainian Minister of Justice to ban the Communist Party. It will no longer be able to officially operate or participate in local elections.
“The banning of the Communist Party in Ukraine sets a very dangerous precedent. This move is propelling Ukraine backwards not forwards on its path to reform and greater respect for human rights,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director of Europe and Central Asia.
Under four new laws adopted in May 2015, collectively known as “decommunization” laws, displaying Communist or Nazi symbols can lead to criminal prosecution and up to ten years imprisonment. The use of the term “communist” is explicitly prohibited by this legislation. However, the Communist Party of Ukraine refused to make changes to its name, logo or its charter.