[Ed. – Friends of Vladimir.]
The law, which still needs Yanukovich’s signature, bans any unauthorised installation of tents, stages or amplifiers in public places, on pain of a fine of up to $640 or up to 15 days in detention.
People and organisations who provide facilities or equipment for such meetings will be liable to a fine of up $1,275 or detention of up to 10 days.
Opposition politicians regularly use a stage on the square to broadcast messages of support to the protesters, and the law will clearly make such action illegal.
Other tough but vaguely-worded threats envisage jail sentences ranging from two to 15 years for offences involving stopping people entering buildings or “mass violation” of public order.
Protest ‘motorcades’ involving more than five vehicles, like those staged outside government residences including that of Yanukovich in recent weeks, were also banned.
The decision in parliament, taken by a sudden show of hands that caught the opposition off-guard, followed a court ban on protests in Kiev, boosting opposition fears of an imminent police crackdown.