04/12/13 19:39 CET
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Ukrainian police have been filmed beating protesters who were handcuffed and lying on the ground. The video appears to show officers attacking them with truncheons and kicking them.
Of the nine who were attacked, six are now in intensive care and three others in prison medical units.They have all been detained for two months until their trial and face up to seven years in prison on charges of organising mass protests.
Officials say the demonstrators attacked police, allegedly driving a bulldozer at officers.
The opposition say the known head of a radical nationalist group, Bratstvo Dmytro Korchynskiy, was behind the violence and that there is video evidence of him on the bulldozer along with others from the movement, throwing stones at police and soldiers. They allege the radicals were sent by the ruling Party of Regions to stir up the crowds.
The families of those arrested say the demonstrators did nothing wrong and were protesting peacefully. They stress that the nine have been denied adequate legal help and allege that independent lawyers are being warned off taking their cases.
At a press conference the relatives asked the public to support them in calling for the protesters to be released.
Marina Ostaschenko, the wife of Oleksander Ostaschenko, one of those arrested, said: “My husband and his friend, a student, just came to Independence Square to support the other Ukrainians there.”
Yana Stepanova, the girlfriend of Mykola Lazarovskyi, another man arrested, said: “We were there, at the hospital, and it was like prison conditions, so we haven’t seen my boyfriend.”
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