Media reports Berlin law enforcement prohibiting Ukrainian address at demo


(MENAFN) German authorities in Berlin have barred Ukrainian demonstrators from delivering speeches in Ukrainian during a protest outside the Russian Embassy, citing concerns over maintaining public order, as reported by local media.

According to Berliner-Kurier, the demonstration, organized in response to a tragic missile incident at a children’s hospital in Kiev, was described as spontaneous and drew participation from hundreds of individuals. Ukrainian NGO Vitsche coordinated the protest, where attendees reportedly chanted "Long live Ukraine" in Ukrainian on multiple occasions.

The protest was prompted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's accusations that Russia intentionally targeted the hospital, a claim denied by Moscow. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed the allegations, emphasizing Russia's stance of not targeting civilian sites. The Russian Defense Ministry attributed the incident to a Ukrainian missile from their air defense systems, dismissing Kiev's claims as baseless.

Despite the demonstration's emotional backdrop and the participants' desire to express themselves in their native language, Berlin police imposed restrictions preventing speeches in Ukrainian. Maria Borysenko, a spokeswoman for the Ukrainian NGO, expressed dismay over the ban, noting that many protesters were not proficient in German, which left them unable to effectively communicate their grievances.

The decision by Berlin police reportedly stemmed from logistical challenges in providing an interpreter at short notice, having initially allowed speeches in German or English. This restriction has sparked frustration among demonstrators and raised questions about the balance between public safety and the right to linguistic expression in democratic protests.

The incident underscores heightened tensions surrounding international conflicts and the complexities of managing demonstrations in multicultural societies, highlighting the ongoing dialogue on freedom of speech and the rights of minorities in public spaces.

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