In the five years of its leadership, the Kiev government has been unable to properly investigate and find those responsible for crimes committed during the 2013-2014 riots in Ukraine that brought the incumbent Ukrainian leadership into power, Amnesty International has said.
“Promises were made, strong words were said by the post-Yanukovych authorities, but time and facts speak volumes. Until all those responsible, including those in command, are brought to account there can be no sense of justice,” the Ukrainian office of Amnesty International quoted Colm O Cuanachain, Senior Director at the Office of the Secretary General of Amnesty International, as saying during his visit to Kiev on Tuesday.
The official also stressed that the lack of an efficient investigation into the EuroMaidan events for such a long period of time was “a shame and an indictment of Ukraine’s criminal justice system.”
Amnesty International also urged the Ukrainian government “to fully commit to the effective investigation of human rights violations committed during EuroMaydan, including beatings and killings.”
“They must shield investigators from political pressure and equip them with the resources and authority they need to carry out their tasks, including allowing the re-enactment of the shootings that took place on 18-20 February 2014,” the official said.
A group of unidentified people armed with sniper rifles opened fire at protesters and police as riots against then President Viktor Yanukovich and his government peaked in the heart of the Ukrainian capital on February 20, 2014. According to official reports, the attack left 53 people dead.
According to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, over a hundred of people were killed and hundreds were injured in clashes in Kiev on February 18-20. In total, more than a thousand of police officers were injured between November 21, 2013 and February 20, 2014, according to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, but Ukrainian prosecutors have not been conducting an inquiry into those facts.
The Kiev government accused former officers of Ukraine’s riot police unit, Berkut, of crimes against EuroMaidan protestors. In May 2015, district court in Kiev started hearing a case against former Berkut officers, who were accused of following a manifestly illegal order to use weapons against protestors and of committing an act of terror. The defendants pleaded not guilty to all charges.