An angry crowd stormed a Kiev police station breaking the fence surrounding it as emotions ran high on Friday night.
Officers struggled to push back the mass of people angered after a female activist was allegedly attacked by a policeman at a local market.
According to reports an officer punched Iryna Bondar after she had requested he speak in Ukrainian not Russian. She was taken to hospital with a suspected broken rib but was later discharged.
“I felt the hit, I reacted immediately, I saw who did it and called the police. The people around me didn’t undestand what happened and why. Tensions grew and they started chasing him as he ran,” said alleged victim of police violence Iryna Bondar. She explained that she was at the market to protect traders from raiders who extorted money from them allegedly aided by police officers.
A saleswomen from Svyatoshyn market witnessed the attack:
“He punched her from behind. I think such police shouldn’t be in charge of anything. After all who is going to protect us?”
In Kiev, the district prosecutor has started criminal proceedings against the officer implicated in the case.
The incident comes less than two weeks after protesters besieged a police station in Vradiyivka following allegations that two policemen were involved in a gang rape.
It led to President Yanukovych assuming personal responsibility for the inquiry and dismissals of high-ranking officers.
Amnesty International has been calling for an effective system to investigate police abuses since 2011.