Ukrainian prosecutor accused of brutal attack on Roma hate crime lawyer
Andriy Mukha, the lawyer representing victims of a fatal attack on Roma residents in Vilshany (Kharkiv oblast) has himself been badly beaten up in his office by men who, he says, were led by a local prosecutor. A criminal investigation has been launched, and though Mukha was alone at the time, the assailants did not wear masks and there appears to be CCTV video footage.
Appalling images from neo-Nazi C14 attack on Kyiv Roma camp force police to retract denial
Video footage and witness accounts of the violent dispersal of a Roma camp on Lysa Hora by neo-Nazi C14 thugs emerged on 25 April which were in stark contrast to the version of events presented by the Head of the Kyiv Police, Andriy Kryshchenko. By evening on 25 April, the police finally announced that a criminal investigation had been initiated after days of implausible denial.
No more than 3% of police torture cases in Ukraine reach the courts
Two and a half thousand Ukrainians who sought help from medical institutions in 2017 reported that their injuries had been caused by police officers. While the number of such cases is on the rise, the number of criminal proceedings initiated by the prosecutor’s office has decreased
Ukrainian ‘C14’ Neo-Nazis openly offer to act as thugs for money
Ukraine’s far-right ‘C14’ organization is trying to entice ‘donors’ by offering to make trouble for the latter’s ‘enemies’. The advertisement on their Facebook page may not break the law, but is certainly alarming from an organization which at least one Kyiv local authority is using to help ‘keep the peace’.
Ukraine carries out Russian-style raid of Islamic Cultural Centre
Said Ismagilov, Mufti of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of Ukraine, has accused Ukraine’s enforcement bodies of multiple infringements during an early-morning search of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Kyiv. Ukraine is using methods, he says, which are disturbingly similar to those applied in Russian-occupied Crimea
Ukrainian police violently dispersed protesters without any court order
It is becoming increasingly clear that there was no legal justification for the dispersal of a tent camp of protesters from outside the Verkhovna Rada on 3 March and the detaining of over 100 activists. The Head of the Human Rights Ombudsperson’s Secretariat also reports that the nature of the bodily injuries sustained during the dispersal suggests that the police used excessive force.
Ukraine Police accused of attacks on journalists leaving one hospitalized
One journalist was hospitalized with chemical burns after the dispersal on March 3 by Ukraine’s ‘new police’ of the protest camps outside parliament. Two other members of the press also complain of ill-treatment from officers in helmets, who they say were not wearing any insignia to enable individual identification. .
Bitter questions as Ukraine’s leaders wax rhetorical about Maidan
On this fourth anniversary of the bloodiest days of Euromaidan, only one person is serving a real sentence for crimes against Maidan activists, and virtually all of the investigations are facing sabotage. Euromaidan SOS founder, Oleksandra Matviychuk is not alone in finding the breast-beating pathos and empty promises from Ukraine’s leaders obscene.
Neo-Nazi Azov fighter granted Ukrainian citizenship linked with police and far-right vigilantes
Ukraine’s Interior Minister and other top officials were swift to distance themselves from the far-right vigilantes who held a frightening oath-giving ceremony on Jan 28. Both this and the public outcry were cheering. The same cannot be said for information linking yet another person holding a police post with the far-right groups behind these so-called ‘natsionalni druzhyny’.
Far-right vigilantes imposing ‘Ukrainian order’ are strange partners for Ukraine’s National Police
So-called ‘National Militia Units’ are promising to ’establish Ukrainian order” on the streets of Kyiv, seemingly in cooperation with Ukraine’s National Police. Assurances from the Interior Ministry cannot allay concerns about police collaboration with an organization which has on many occasions demonstrated intolerance towards ethnic minorities, as well as to people whose sexual orientation, political or other beliefs they view with antagonism.
Anti-corruption groups question motives for prosecution of YouControl open access firm
A number of Ukrainian anti-corruption NGOs, including Transparency International in Ukraine, have expressed concern over the criminal proceedings against YouControl and its founder Serhiy Milman which they view as pressure on an open access firm providing invaluable assistance to anti-corruption campaigners and journalists.
Estimated 96 thousand Ukrainians were victims of police torture in 2017
Any improvement immediately after Euromaidan in the perceived prevalence of police torture and ill-treatment in Ukraine has ended. A survey just published found that the number of victims of unlawful police violence had risen by well over 200 thousand since 2015, with the number of alleged victims of torture rising from almost 63 thousand in 2015 to almost 96 thousand in 2017
Ukraine’s strange collaboration with Russia over deportations
Ukraine has been in a state of undeclared war with Russia since the latter’s invasion of Crimea in early 2014 and its aggression in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian Security Service [SBU] are not loath at times to make use of this, claiming a ‘Russian link’ where there is almost certainly none. More often, however, they demonstrate a baffling willingness to collaborate with their counterparts in the Russian Federal Security Service [FSB]
Ukraine’s SBU detain Crimean activists “in Russian FSB style”
Civic activists have reacted with strong scepticism to the claims made by the Lviv SBU [Security Service] in explaining the searches and detention on October 12 of up to 12 activists, including two well-known Crimeans, forced to flee their home after Russia’s invasion
Prosecution of key Maidan suspects sabotaged by Interior Ministry & Police management
The Special Investigations Department has named four men, including a general holding a high post in Ukraine’s National Guard whom it suspects of having coordinated the Berkut storming of Maidan on 18-19 February, 2014
Ukrainian prosecutor refuses to investigate police inaction during shocking anti-Roma pogrom
An Odesa court has reinstated the criminal proceedings initiated over police failure to react during anti-Roma riots last year in Loshchynivka, but only after human rights lawyers challenged the prosecutor’s decision to terminate the investigation.
Dangerous National Guard bill condemned as ‘a step towards a police state’ in Ukraine
A draft bill which would give members of Ukraine’s National Guard the right to shoot without warning under certain circumstances has been strongly criticised by the Human Rights Ombudsman, some human rights groups, including ‘Police under Control’ and politicians. They warn that the bill would give the National Guard wide police powers which are inappropriate for an armed formation and could lead to them being used, as the Berkut riot police were used under President Viktor Yanukovych, to crush peaceful protest.
62-year-old Crimean Tatar activist jailed for trying to speak at a public hearing
62-year-old Fazil Ibraimov, who suffers from diabetes, has been jailed for five days in Russian-occupied Crimea, after attempting to speak out against building plans which are likely to deprive him and many other Crimean Tatars of their homes.
Ukraine accused of mounting reprisals against anti-corruption activists
Transparency International in Ukraine has issued an alarming statement asserting that public reprisals against anti-corruption activists are gaining pace, with the recent criminal proceedings about prominent activist Vitaly Shabunin the most indicative, but not the only such case.
Return to Selective Justice Feared in Ukraine over Prosecution of Anti-Corruption Activist
A prominent anti-corruption campaigner is facing criminal charges that seem ominously reminiscent of the selective prosecutions seen under the presidency of Viktor Yanukovych. While Vitaly Shabunin did indeed punch Vsevolod Filimonenko, the circumstances and effect are by no means straightforward. Questions must also be asked as to why criminal charges have been laid in this case, when they so very often are not despite much clearer grounds, including the involvement of politicians or members of the authorities