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International NGOs slam intimidation of Berkut victims
Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have demanded that the Ukrainian authorities properly investigate the violence against peaceful pro-EU protesters and punish those responsible. They also condemn measures aimed at intimidating police victims.
The following is the statement issued by Human Rights Watch but please also see the Amnesty International Report here Ukraine: “Euromaydan”: Human rights violations during protests in Ukraine
Investigate Mistreatment by Security Forces
DECEMBER 20, 2013
(Moscow) – Ukrainian authorities have tried to pressure and intimidate people who alleged being beaten by police during recent protests in Kiev, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter toUkraine’s prosecutor general. In some beating cases the authorities failed to move investigations forward.
On November 30 and December 1, 2013, riot police severely beat numerous peaceful protesters in Kiev, causing head injuries in several cases. Seven protesters Human Rights Watch interviewed credibly alleged that law enforcement officials investigating the incidents had pressured and intimidated them.
“Ukrainian authorities pledged to investigate police violence, but they are intimidating those coming forward with allegations of police abuse, ” said Yulia Gorbunova, Ukraine researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The authorities are pressuring the very people whose trust is needed if they are going to conduct serious investigations.”
The prosecutor general should ensure a prompt and impartial investigation into the allegations of police abuse and immediately end improper pressure on people who filed complaints, Human Rights Watch said.
One man who alleged being beaten during the November 30 protest at Independence Square said he was questioned for four hours, including such questions as: “Why did you take part in mass riots and who organized them?” “Why did you resist the police?” and, “How much were you paid to be there?” The investigator asked only one question about the police beating. After the questioning ended, the man had to be hospitalized briefly for hypertension.