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Vadim Shebanov, a member of Friends of the Earth Ukraine, was arrested following a peaceful protest in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine on January 26. On January 31, he was released from prison, but put under house arrest. After weeks of emailing and petitioning by Friends of the Earth groups and supporters and an ever changing situation in Ukraine, the authorities released Vadim.
Peaceful protestors in Ukraine suffered violence, harassment and abuse at the hands of their own police force for months starting in November 2013. Vadim Shebanov, a member of Friends of the Earth Ukraine/ Zelenyi Svit, was arrested following a peaceful protest in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine on January 26.
Roughly five thousand people demonstrated at the city’s park on Sunday January 26, before moving to Dnipropetrovsk Regional Administration. The demonstrators were calling for the repeal of recently passed, anti-democratic legislative amendments. These laws were subsequently repealed on January 28.
Three people, including Vadim Shebanov, were nominated to negotiate on behalf of the protestors. They discussed their demands with Vice-Chair of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Administration, Mr. Krupsky. Among their demands was a request to improve the security situation, which had been getting out of hand. Unfortunately, police arrested peaceful activists including Vadim Shebanov instead. He was detained by police and sentenced to two months pre-trial detention in the same night.
Vadim Shebanov is a well-known Dnipropetrovsk activist, member of Friends of the Earth Ukraine/ Zelenyi Svit, chair of a sports associations, public activist and former deputy of Dnipropetrovsk regional council. Thousands of Friends of the Earth supporters from around the world shared Vadim's stories and wrote emails demanding his release.