Ukrainian president signs amnesty law; protesters not appeased

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed several pieces of legislation into law on Friday to appease protesters, who are demanding an overhaul to the government.
Posted By JC Finley  |  Jan. 31, 2014 at 5:07 PM
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KIEV, Ukraine, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed an amnesty bill into law on Friday that falls far short of protester demands. His signature comes amid revelations of protester abuse.

The president's website posted a statement Friday announcing Yanukovych enacted the limited amnesty law and repealed anti-democratic legislation that had been passed by the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) on January 16.

Euromaidan protesters rejected the president's appeasement attempts because they fall short of the opposition's call for constitutional reforms and a more balanced government power structure.

Opposition leader Vladimir Klitschko has said that President Yanukovych's resignation would be "a logical step."

Political tensions spiked on Thursday with the reappearance of AutoMaidan protest leader Dmytro Bulatov, who claimed he had been abducted a week earlier and tortured for information about his movement's non-existent financiers.

State news agency Ukrinform reported the Ministry of Interior is investigating the abduction. Protest leader Vitali Klitschko condemned the attack as "an act of intimidation of all active citizens."

European Commissioner for EU Enlargement Stefan Fule took to Twitter to express his outrage about such intimidation tactics.

Demonstrations began in November 2013 following President Yanukovych's announcement that Ukraine would not join the EU and have continued for months, despite the freezing temperatures and threat of violence. Protesters at Euromaidan rallies, led by the government opposition parties, have voiced their opposition to Ukraine's economic ties to Russia and have demanded the removal of the president.

[Interfax Ukraine News Agency] [CNN]

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