Anti-corruption activist Shabunin was sprayed with a pepper spray (photo, video)

Activist Vitaliy Shabunin was sprayed with a pepper spray at the Dniprovskyi District Military Enlistment Office.

As reported by reporter of the Human Rights Information Centre.

Vitaliy Shabunin went to the Military Enlistment Office after receiving a summons, which was handed to him yesterday by a group of six people. As he reported on his Facebook page, three men were dressed in military uniform and three were in civilian clothes.

Shabunin has also invited journalists to join the visit to the Military Enlistment Office this morning. According to him, back in 2000 he was declared unfit for military service due to his health condition and such increased attention on the part of the military commissariat raises doubts.

When Vitaliy Shabunin exited the Military Enlistment Office, a man with a camera ran up to him and started asking why Shabunin had hit his colleague, referring to Vsevolod Filimonenko, who is a journalist of the Golos Narodu (Voice of People) newspaper. (Filimonenko showed his journalistic certificate and accreditation in the Verkhovna Rada to the reporter of the Human Rights Information Centre).

Man with a camera followed Shabunin and, thus, prevented other mass media outlets from filming and asking questions. Journalists asked him to get on the same level with others, so they could write down the activist’s story about what happened in the Military Enlistment Office. Vitaliy Shabunin made an offer to him to join other journalists and Vsevolod Filimonenko. But he began to demonstratively run away from the journalists. Shabunin was moving towards Filimonenko, who at that moment drew out a pepper spray and sprayed it into Shabunin’s face.

When asked why he did this, the man said that he “defended himself, stopping a dangerous criminal”.

Vsevolod Filimonenko (second on the right)

“He started following me, intending to hit me under the coverage of a large amount of cameras. In order to stop the criminal, who wanted to commit a crime under Article 171 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, I applied the authorized means against him”, - he said.

According to him, before the visit to the Military Enlistment Office, he approached the activist with the camera and asked why he is afraid of fighting in the ATO.“He started talking about a certain girl, whom I brought to tears. He did not let me finish and hit me in the face”, - noted Filimonenko. He claims that he has a video, but refused to show it at the request of the reporter.

Vitaliy Shabunin, Chairman of the Board of the Anti-Corruption Action Centre, himself accused Filimonenko on Facebook network of having a custom with aim to compromise. He confessed on his Facebook page that he hit Filimonenko in the face, because he insulted his colleague.

“This is pure buffoonery. I hit him in the face today because he insulted my colleague Ustinova. And everything saw what happened next: Filimonenko was fearfully running away from communication and called for his “colleague” – “well, protect me!”, and then he pulled out a pepper spray and sprayed in everyone’s eyes – mine and journalists’”, - wrote the activist.

Anti-corruption activist said that the military commissar was shocked.

According to Shabunin, the leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine ordered the commissar to allocate a search group, which is used to search for deserters, and to send it to Shabunin. However, he has no claims against the Dniprovskyi District Military Enlistment Office. Commissar advised Shabunin to go to the Sviatoshyn District Military Enlistment Offices, in order to find out what happened.

Police arrived at the scene and gathers explanations from the parties. The activist was taken to the hospital by an ambulance.

Vitaliy Shabunin reported that he went to the enlistment office on registration after the hospital, where his eyes were washed. At the enlistment office he received a direction to the medical board.

As a reminder, earlier Vitaliy Shabunin have reported that he has received threats from Ihor Piven, representative of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc political party, the other day. He threatened to force Shabunin to the military enlistment.

Shabunin explains the mentioned actions by the fact that one of the investigations of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) is aimed at exposing the machinations and crimes of the founders of the Union of Military Reconnaissance Veterans, one of whose co-founders is Ihor Piven.

According to Shabunin, the investigation conducted by the NABU exposed the fact that Ihor Piven has not declared a car, which is in his common possession with a Russian citizen. Piven used this car twice to flee from the crime scene while being in the state of alcoholic intoxication.

As a reminder, on May 30, 2017, the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine issued an order according to which military service officers in the Armed Forces of Ukraine will be called up for military service at the age up to 43 years old, who were trained in military departments of the university, but have not served in the army. I t will be an emergency service, which will last 18 months. After the summons, all officers will be compulsorily trained for 3 months in the educational institutions of the Ministry of Defense. And then they will be appointed to posts in military units and subunits, which are not involved in the ATO.

On April 9 a picket took place near the house of Vitaly Shabunin, Head of the Board of the Anti-Corruption Action Centre (ACAC). Activist accuses the SBU in the organization of a picket.

According to Shabunin, Roman Matkovskiy, Head of the SBU department for the protection of national statehood, is the executor of this picket.

The Anti-Corruption Action Center considers the picket to be linked with a lawsuit against the SBU. The activists of the organization publicly demand the disclosure of e-declarations of employees of the Security Service of Ukraine. The SBU leadership declared the information on the status of its employees as a state secret. They believe that the disclosure of such information may inflict irreparable damage to.

In turn, the SBU denies accusations and state that they have not organized any rallies at the house of Vitaliy Shabunin.

On April 12, human rights defender Olexandra Matviychuk stated that a campaign purposefully focused on discrediting public activists, who are counteracting corruption in various areas, is taking place in Ukraine.

On May 12, Alexandra Ustinova, who works at the Anti-Corruption Action Center (ACAC), claims the she and her house are being watched by persons who, on request of the SBU, are filming a video about her with the aim of defamation.

On May 23, Pavlo Pynzenyk, People Deputy from the People’s Front political party, stated that he will request to investigate the activities of the NGO Anti-Corruption Action Centre regarding money laundering.

He referred to the investigation materials allegedly conducted by the public association National Interest of Ukraine, whose board member is Ihor Piven. According to Pynzenyk, the materials indicate that, despite the high salaries, members of the ACAC received money on bank accounts of individual entrepreneurs. “For example, self-employed Shabunin received 1.7 million hryvnias during 2016-2017, self-employed Ustinova from the same organization received 1.86 million hryvnias and so on”, - said Pynzenyk.

In turn, the ACAC stated that they would sue Pynzenyk for disseminating untrue information about the organization and its individual members.

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