Ukraine's parliament yesterday passed sweeping legislation that all but cuts the legs off any future protest.
Demonstrations against President Yanukovych have been ongoing for months. At heart is the question of both Yanukovych's legitimacy, since he is widely believed to have rigged the elections that saw him victor, and his allegiance to Russia, which prompted him to undermine EU membership in favor of large loans from Russia's government.
The new legislation bars protesters from wearing any garment or object to obstruct facial features. Anyone violating the law will be arrested. Internet meeting sites will also be banned if they find to be 'slandering' the government. Hard labor sentences for up to a year were prescribed for violators. Similar measures have now become part and parcel of undemocratic repression worldwide. Very similar legislative measures were adopted by Erdogan in Turkey just this month, even though Turkey is a member of the EU.
The future of Ukraine now hangs in the balance. Most Ukranian citizens feel that their hard won independence from Russia has all but been erased by the puppet presidency of Yanukovich.
What has also broken down is the way laws are passed. The legislative branch no longer follows procedure, and just passes laws without scrutiny or procedural constraints.
Source : France 24/ 1.17.14