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Amnesty International states lack of progress in investigating Feb 2014 violence in Kiev

February 24, 2016, 9:05 UTC+3 LONDON

The Amnesty International also touched upon the May 2 tradegy in Odessa and the situatio in east Ukraine

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Berkut police special forces in Kiev in February 2014 (archive)

Berkut police special forces in Kiev in February 2014 (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuyev

LONDON, February 24. /TASS/. Amnesty International has stated little progress in investigating the violations of human rights committed during mass antigovernment riots in Kiev in 2013 and 2014.

"Little progress was made (in 2015) in investigating violations and abuses related to the 2013/2014 pro-European demonstrations in Kiev (EuroMaidan) and in bringing perpetrators to justice," the organization said in a report published on Wednesday.

"Two years after the EuroMaidan protests, little tangible progress was made in bringing to justice law enforcement officials responsible for the excessive, unnecessary and illegal use of force," it said.

"The International Advisory Panel set up by the Council of Europe to monitor investigations into EuroMaidan and violence in the city of Odessa on May 2, 2014, published two reports during 2015," the report indicated. "On both occasions, the Panel found that the investigations had failed to satisfy the requirements of the European Court on Human Rights."

A minimum of 85 demonstrators and 18 policemen lost their lives during violent clashes in downtown Kiev in February 2014 and hundreds of people were injured.

The tragedy at the Odessa House of Trade Unions occurred on May 2, 2014. A sign-up campaign in support of a referendum turned into clashes between nationalist activists of the Right Sector and the Maidan self-defense groups on the one side and federalization supporters on the other side. The clashes resulted in the local House of Trade Unions being set on fire. More than 200 people were injured in the tragedy while 48 lost their lives.

Amnesty also touched upon the protracted armed civil conflict in eastern Ukraine. "Impunity prevailed for war crimes committed by both sides," it said.

Specifically, the report pointed out "torture and other ill-treatment of prisoners."

"Rightwing groups (…) were implicated in a series of violent incidents," Amnesty recalled. "In July, armed paramilitaries from the nationalist organization Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) were involved in a shootout with police in the Zakarpattya (Sub-Carpathian - TASS) region, resulting in three deaths."

"In August, during a protest organized by the non-parliamentary Svoboda party on front of Parliament, four National Guard officers were killed by a grenade. Several Svoboda activists were arrested."

Amnesty admitted that "(…) media outlets perceived as espousing pro-Russian or pro-separatist views faced harassment. It mentioned the case of journalist Oles Buzina, who was known for his strong line at promoting close ties with Russia. Buzina, who was followed by 25,000 people on Facebook, was shot dead by two masked gunmen in front of his house in Kiev on April 16.

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