Supporters of the pro-presidential Party of the Regions take part in a rally near the Parliament building in Kiev January 16, 2014. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST BUSINESS)
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Supporters of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich rammed a sweeping law through parliament on Thursday in an attempt to curb anti-government protests, sparking an outcry from the opposition and raising tensions on the streets.The law, backed by 235 of 450 lawmakers, said unauthorized installation of tents, stages or amplifiers in public places in Ukraine would be punished by a fine of up to $640 or by up to 15 days in detention.The move was certain to fuel opposition suspicions that riot police would soon crack down to end two months of protests.The EU's ambassador to Ukraine, Jan Tombinsky, joined opposition leaders in condemning the way the law was rushed through parliament by a show of hands rather than by the customary electronic system of voting -- a mechanism which opposition deputies can physically block.
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