Kyiv, January 25, 2016. January 22 is the second anniversary of the first death at Maidan, Serhiy Nigoyan. His portrait decorates a wall of a building at the Hundreds of Heaven Park. Activists set out the garden in place of huge garbage dump an inept developer made of a yard in the center of Kyiv. Simultaneously, court proceedings regarding returning the land lot under the city ownership were launched. Nevertheless, due to reluctance of Kyiv city council and Kyiv city state administration, the city lost the case in all the instances, and it was only in September 2015 on the level of the Supreme Court that they succeeded in returning the case to the first instance court. Initiator of setting the Hundred of Heaven Park, head of the NGO Garden City, Yevhenia Kuleba provided this information at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
According to Kuleba, recent court session on the case took place on December 1. “I was shocked with total absence of either fairness or respect towards people at our courts. The judge was openly mocking the fact that the city needed no land, as the city representatives were not present,” said Kuleba.
On January 19, 2016 a building nearby the park was on fire. Activists believe this might have been an arson organized by the developer.
Against all these events, on the anniversary of first deaths at Maidan, activists started collecting signatures in support of petitioning the city authorities to return of land with the Hundred of Heaven Park to the citizens. The petition collected the necessary 10 thousand signatures in less than two days. As a result of such public response, a meeting of representatives of NGO Garden City with Kyiv mayor Vitaliy Klychko took place today, on January 25. According to Kuleba, the head of Kyiv promised that the city legal service would display pro-active attitude in future court sessions, as well as possible participation of a group of lawyers from the civil society in the process. It has also been agreed to form a task team consisting of activists and representatives of the city authorities. “We will develop the action plan together. There will be coordinators and deadlines, i.e. this is going to be a real project,” explained the head of NGO Garden City. Moreover, it has been decided to negotiate with the actual land lot owner. “I do hope he will be willing to make such a gift to Kyiv and go down in history. Such a gesture cannot go unnoticed. Moreover, if this person is a politician, it would be huge publicity worth much more than the land itself,” believes Kuleba. According to her, Klychko also mentioned the possibility of giving the owner an alternative land lot in the city.
“We are talking a lot about officials now. Nevertheless, these are people who have real power. I am sure that the public pressure will give no chance to abandon this issue,” emphasized Kuleba. The next court session will take place on May 10, 2016.