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Judicial impunity, a tradition in Ukraine…

(BRUSSELS2) “ Culture of impunity, lack of expertise and sometimes deliberate obstruction deny justice to hundreds of victims of violence committed by security forces during EuroMaidan protests in Ukraine denounced Amnesty International today in a press conference held in Kyiv. The NGO, which publishes a new synthesis (Ukraine: A Year After Maydan, Justice Delayed, Justice Denied), for the anniversary of the Maidan protests points the finger “ failure of the authorities to investigate the unlawful use of force” during the EuroMaidan demonstrations in Kyiv and to bring justice to the victims.

Deaths, injuries and cases of torture

The official report (Ministry of Health) lists 105 dead during the demonstrations of January-February, including at least 13 police officers. But there are also many injuries, many cases of illegal use of force and acts of torture. Amnesty submitted “ Many times " the Ukrainian authorities with details of cases of arbitrary and excessive use of force, without seeing any tangible progress so far in the cases it is monitoring.

Justice failing

« Justice for the victims – homicides, injuries, acts of torture – is making little progress, which once again exposes the serious shortcomings of the Ukrainian penal system”, underlines John Dalhuisen, director of the Europe and Central Asia program. That " risks entrenching a lasting culture of impunity for the police »

Some lamp workers pay

To date, only two junior police officers have been convicted after they were filmed forcing a man to stand naked in public in sub-zero temperatures. They received suspended three- and two-year prison sentences for “abuse of authority or official power”. But that's all. " Several other officers implicated in mistreatment have not been charged remarks the organization. " The identity of the killer is still unknown. of the first protester to lose his life, Sergei Nigoyan, 21, shot four times, including in the head and neck, on January 22, 2014.

Statements, few actions

After the fall of President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014, the new Ukrainian authorities “ repeatedly promised to carry out effective investigations into all human rights abuses and to bring those responsible to justice. Corn " statements of progress outnumber true indications of progress”. For most injured and abused people, the investigations have barely started says John Dalhuisen.

Dormant investigations

The vast majority of victims interviewed by Amnesty International said they were not interviewed as victims, although many were initially interviewed as perpetrators. None were informed of the progress of the investigation several months after filing a complaint.

Destruction of evidence and impotence

Amnesty International, which spoke to several prosecutors, the main obstacles are " the destruction of evidence by members of the security forces immediately after the demonstrations and their reluctance to cooperate ". Come next " the lack of resources and the redundant competences of the various authorities concerned”.

Justice, the rotten side of Ukraine?

A point of view that will not be contested on the merits by the various European experts on Ukraine whom B2 was able to meet in kyiv or Brussels. All of them stress how much the "justice" project is one of the biggest projects they have to face. " The heart of the problem lies in the fact that judges are subject to conflicting interests. Judgments are not impartial, they do not represent justice but diverse interests remarked one of these experts.

Lawsuits for embezzlement

Even the lawsuits against the Yanukovych clan for embezzlement did not really have an effect. Some acquittals or dismissals have been pronounced. To the point that the European Union, which had enacted a freezing of assets on these people, could be forced to lift the sanctions, for lack of evidence.

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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