Ukraine: ECHR ruling on EuroMaydan protesters is a crucial step towards justice

 

Reacting to the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECtHR) ruling that the Ukrainian state bore responsibility for unlawful detentions, ill-treatment, abductions and in one instance killing of protesters during the violent crackdown on EuroMaydan protests in winter 2013-2014, Oksana Pokalchuk, Amnesty International Ukraine’s Director, said:

“The European Court of Human Rights’ ruling reflects what Amnesty International and Ukrainian human rights activists have reported for many years: the Ukrainian authorities under President Viktor Yanukovych unleashed a vicious crackdown on protesters during EuroMaydan. For most victims of these abuses, no justice has been delivered.

The European Court of Human Rights’ ruling reflects what Amnesty International and Ukrainian human rights activists have reported for many years: the Ukrainian authorities under President Viktor Yanukovych unleashed a vicious crackdown on protesters during EuroMaydan

“We hope that today’s judgment will help break down the barriers preventing Ukraine from uncovering the full truth, holding the perpetrators of human rights violations to account, and ensuring that victims and their families attain full and adequate reparations.”

Background

On 21 January, in several separate cases, the ECtHR ruled that the Ukrainian authorities had deliberately used ill-treatment, excessive force, unlawful detention and abduction of protesters within a campaign to disrupt initially peaceful protests. In one case, the ECtHR found the Ukrainian state responsible for the killing of one protester.

Amnesty International has extensively campaigned for justice and reparations for all victims of police abuses committed during the protests, popularly known as EuroMaydan, since their outset. The protests led to the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych. An Amnesty International report published two years ago revealed significant levels of obstruction of justice, showing that out of 288 cases of former low enforcement officers and other officials charged with multiple human rights violations only nine ended up with custodial sentences.

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