KYIV (QHA) -

Supporters of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich rammed a sweeping law through parliament on Thursday in an attempt to curb anti-government protests, Reuters reports.

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.

People and organizations who provided facilities or equipment for unauthorized meetings would be liable to a fine of up $1,275 or by detention of up to 10 days.

Ukraine's parliament has also approved simplified procedures for detaining or arresting lawmakers.

Lawmakers voted for the amendment by a show of hands, not electronically, as the opposition has been blocking the parliament's podium since January 14.

Yanukovich's refusal in November to sign a free trade deal with the European Union in favor of boosting ties with Ukraine's former Soviet master Russia brought hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians out on to the streets in protest

QHA