Ukraine's Euro 2012 organisers on
Monday urged local police to reform their poor image for
heavy-handedness and take a softly-softly approach with
thousands of football fans during next month's championships.
"We hope our police will be service-oriented and tolerant
with fans. We have expressed this message many times to our
colleagues in the Interior Ministry," Euro 2012 director Markian
Lubkivsky told reporters.
Ukraine, co-host of the tournament with Poland, expects at
least 700,000 fans from around the world to attend matches in
four Ukrainian cities - Kiev, Lviv, Kharkiv and Donetsk.
It will represent Ukraine's single biggest influx of foreign
visitors since the former Soviet republic became independent 20
Lubkivsky said that all games in Ukraine were assessed as
"low risk" from a security point of view and organisers saw no
likelihood of clashes among fans or soccer hooligans.
"We have not had any signals from police or from the state
security service which give us cause to worry about security in
the stadiums or in Ukraine," Lubkivsky said.
Altogether, Ukraine says it will have about 23,000 police on
duty for Euro 2012, which runs from June 8 until the final in
the capital Kiev on July 1. The first match in Ukraine is on
Human rights organisations have often accused Ukrainian
police of using excessive force against suspects. Amnesty
International has urged Ukraine to adopt legislation to put a
brake on police violations during the Euros.
"As things stand, fans visiting Euro 2012 are under threat
from a criminal police force," Max Tucker, Amnesty
International's campaigner on Ukraine, said in a statement this
A fan group in Ukraine has warned foreigners to be cautious
when confronting local police and allege that police used taser
electric shock weapons against supporters in a league game in
Donetsk this month.
"They [the police] have added a new feature to illegal
detentions, fines, bans and police brutality. This new feature
is electric shock torture," they said on their website.
"Ukrainian supporters have already been treated by the police
in that way and Euro 2012 visitors are next in the line. So,
dear guests, forget about your human rights - this is not
Europe, this is Euro 2012!" they said.
Ukrainian police say they will guarantee order without
resorting to violence.
"We will be loyal and will provide all help to our citizens
and foreigners. We understand that the image of Ukraine also
depends on us," police spokesman Volodymyr Polishchyuk said on
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