President Yanukovich relaxes Ukrainian anti-protest laws
MOSCOW, January 31 (RAPSI) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich on Friday signed laws cancelling previous legislation toughening liability for participating in street protest actions and pardoning the protesters, RIA Novosti reports.
On January 30, The Ukrainian Parliament has adopted a bill on amnesty that will pardon those who participated in mass protests. The amnesty will not apply to the rioters who committed especially grave crimes.
A series of laws aimed at imposing greater control over protests adopted by Parliament on January 16 gave rise to a violent wave of protests in the Ukrainian capital. A rally in central Kiev on January 19 turned violent when radicals attacked police.
As a result of the escalating tensions, over 200 law enforcement officers were injured, with dozens of police officers having been taken to hospitals, according to the Interior Ministry. Two protesters lost their lives in the clashes. A total of 234 people have been detained amid the unrest, 140 of whom are under arrest.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov declared his resignation on Tuesday in order to facilitate a peaceful solution for the ongoing political crisis.