Amnesty International: Impunity is the biggest problem in Ukraine


Kyiv, February 24, 2016. Amnesty International states about the global attack on human rights and freedoms. The Amnesty International annual report for 2015, presented by experts at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center, is devoted to this topic.

Section on the situation in Ukraine focuses on investigations of crimes against Maidan, armed conflict, “prisoners of conscience”, freedom of expression, the rights of LGBT and human rights violations in Crimea. “Impunity  is the biggest problem in Ukraine. This pertains to war crimes committed in the east by both parties to the conflict, and to violations and abuses during Euromaidan,” emphasized Tetiana Mazur, executive director of Amnesty International in Ukraine. According to her, the progress in Maidan cases is too small. The experts also express concern about the fact that the State Bureau of Investigation, that on March 1 will become the only body responsible for investigating crimes against Maidan, actually exists only on paper. The budget for 2016 does not provide for funding its work.

According to Krasimir Yankov, Human Rights researcher of Amnesty International in Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, both Ukrainian military and militants commit war crimes in eastern Ukraine. In particular, tortures and inhuman treatment of prisoners. “We should emphasize that there are the state and investigative bodies in Ukraine, which we urge to investigate such cases. But we cannot say this about the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic’ (“DPR”) and the “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LPR”),” added Mr. Yankov. Tetiana Mazur noted that authority is not always a violator of human rights in today’s world. Now quasi-formations  can often be such violators. “We cannot communicate with them in the same way as we do with governments of the states, because we do not want to recognize their authority,” she explained.

The situation in Crimea is characterized by a complete lack of investigation of disappearing Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar activists on the peninsula. “There is sufficient evidence to prove that pro-Russian militants and so-called Self-Defense Forces of Crimea are involved in these disappearances,” said Krasimir Yankov. According to him, there are systematic repressions, prohibition and restriction of freedom of speech and assembly for all who do not support the Russian authorities on the peninsula. Besides, Crimean Tatar community is experiencing serious harassment, as evidenced by the arrests of the Mejlis leaders and prohibition of broadcast to ATR channel. “This is an organized systematic campaign against dissidence, and it persists. […] For example, Natalia Poklonskaya has become notorious for her cynicism. She proposed via media that Refat Chubarov should return to Crimea, but did not mention the fact that some days before the court issued a warrant for his arrest,” said Mr. Yankov.

For the full Amnesty International report section dedicated to Ukraine, please follow the link.