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Afraid of Second Maidan? Ukraine Parliament Passes Bill on Martial Law

Defines the extent of powers government has if martial law is declared

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April 9, 2015, (Interfax) - The Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada has passed the bill on the legal regime of martial law submitted by President Petro Poroshenko in the first reading.

Bill No2541 gained 258 votes on Thursday, an Interfax correspondent reports.

The bill defines the legal regime of martial law, the procedure for its enforcement and cancellation, the legal basis of activities of state power bodies, military commands, local self-government bodies, enterprises and organizations under martial law, and guarantees of civil and human rights and lawful interests and rights of legal entities.

The legislative initiative defines measures the military command may take together with military administrations to instate the martial law regime.

For instance, they have the right to tighten security of strategic economic and social facilities and regulate the regime of their operation, to compel able-bodied citizens to do community service, to use assets and human resources of enterprises and organizations of any form of property for defense needs, to alienate private or communal property, and to seize assets of state-run enterprises for state needs.

In addition, the military command and the military administrations can enforce a curfew and apply internment (forced relocation) of citizens of other countries threatening to attack or involved in an aggression against Ukraine.

They are also permitted to limit freedom of movement, to check identification and, if necessary, search office and residential premises, luggage and cargo, prohibit public events, and propose a ban on the activity of political parties and public movements which aims to damage Ukrainian independence, security and constitutional system.

In the case of martial law, military command and administration can regulate the activity of enterprises, telecommunication systems, print shops and publishing houses, ban the selling of armaments, strong chemicals and alcoholic beverages, establish a special regime of the production and distribution of narcotic-containing medicines, seize firearms, ammunition and cold steel from civilians, and compel individuals and legal entities to accommodate servicemen on their premises.

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