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Source claims European court to examine lawsuit on 2014 Odessa massacre

February 02, 2017, 17:09 UTC+3 KIEV

Specifically, the claimants want the ECHR to acknowledge Ukraine’s breach of article 6 of the Convention on Human Rights

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KIEV, February 2. /TASS/. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has started to examine a lawsuit filed by persons hurt in the 2014 Odessa massacre, the press office of Ukraine’s Opposition Block party said on Thursday, citing Verkhovna Rada deputy Nikolai Skorik.

"A lawyer of those hurt in the May 2 tragedy has received a notice from the ECHR Secretariat saying that the case files submitted by the relatives of the Odessa tragedy victims who do not agree with the Ukrainian authorities idleness in investigating the circumstances of the deaths of their nearest and dearest have been accepted by the court for examination," the Opposition Bloc quoted Skorik as saying.

According to the MP, the claimants expect to win the case in the court, following which the ECHR will oblige Ukraine "to carry out an unbiased and all-embracing probe into the tragedy and offer compensation to those hurt in the incident."

Specifically, the claimants want the ECHR to acknowledge Ukraine’s breach of article 6 of the Convention on Human Rights, in particular, "the deliberate inaction of law-enforcement agencies, the delay in the investigation and the restriction of access for affected parties to a fair hearing."

On May 2, 2014, radicals of Ukraine’s Right Sector organization (outlawed in Russia) and the so-called Maidan self-defense units burnt up a tent camp on Kulikovo Field where Odessa residents were gathering signatures for a referendum on the country’s federalization and the status of the Russian as a state language.

The advocates of Ukraine’s transformation into a federal state sought shelter in the Trade Union House in the center of Odessa while nationalists who had encircled the building and set it ablaze were assaulting those who tried to escape from the fire.

As many as 48 people died and over 200 were injured in the massacre. The Ukrainian law-enforcement agencies carried out an investigation of these events and found 22 persons guilty of initiating the riots. Half of them were arrested.

The Odessa Region police said in late January that part of the proofs gathered in the probe of the Trade Union House fire had been lost.

International organizations have indicated on many occasions that the Ukrainian authorities have done nothing to carry out an impartial investigation of the Odessa tragedy.

The latest court’s hearing on the case took place on December 16, 2016. The hearing scheduled for February 2 has been postponed like several previous hearings. The court’s next session has been arranged for February 10.

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