Select this search icon to access the amnesty.ca search form

Main menu

Facebook Share

Ukraine

    January 31, 2014
    The abduction and torture of Ukrainian opposition activist Dmitrii Bulatov is a barbaric act which must be investigated immediately, Amnesty International said today.

    “The Ukrainian authorities must immediately open an investigation into Dmitrii Bulatov's case and bring to justice those who have committed this barbaric act against a prominent protest organiser,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Programme Director at Amnesty International.

    “Dmitrii's horrific story is not unique amongst Euromaydan protestors. A number of similar cases have been reported including the case of Yury Verbytsky who, sadly, did not survive his ordeal.

    “It is very hard to see a way out the current crisis when such horrific abuses against protest organizers are taking place. The authorities must send a strong message to the perpetrators of these appalling acts of violence that there will be no impunity and that they will be held accountable. “

    January 22, 2014

    The use of live ammunition by police in Kyiv would only increase what is already a highly volatile situation, Amnesty International said today after four protesters were killed and the government issued a statement saying that police may start using live ammunition.

    The death of a man after being brutally beaten by two riot police officers is another example of pervasive police impunity in Ukraine.

    “There must be no impunity for law enforcement officers who resort to abusive use of force. We have repeatedly called on the Ukrainian authorities to bring perpetrators to justice, but today’s unlawful violence by the police has led to at least one death. What else needs to happen before police officers are held accountable for human rights violations?” said Heather McGill, Amnesty International's Ukraine expert.

    The Ministry of Internal Affairs has denied that it was using live ammunition but has threatened to use live rounds following the shootings.

    January 16, 2014

    The Ukrainian authorities must lift a temporary ban on demonstrations in the centre of the capital Kyiv and guarantee the rights to freedom of assembly and expression, Amnesty International said.

    “Instead of trying to gag peaceful protesters, the authorities should engage in a dialogue and hear them out. This is legitimate criticism of the government that must be heard,” said Heather McGill, Amnesty International’s researcher on Ukraine.

    “The fact that this ban specifically applies to peaceful demonstrations is a particularly blatant violation of the right to freedom of assembly and undermines the rights of all Ukrainians.”

    In a 6 January decision that has just been made public, the Kyiv administrative court imposed a two-month ban on demonstrations by opposition activists in the city centre. The authorities have yet to enact the ban, which comes after weeks of sustained protests around the city’s central Independence Square (Maydan).

    The ban specifically targets all peaceful assemblies organized by the main opposition political parties.

    December 23, 2013

    Human rights violations against peaceful participants in the demonstrations that have rocked the Ukraine in the past month must be thoroughly investigated, said Amnesty International in a report published today. The organization is concerned that the blanket pardon of protestors arrested in the demonstrations is not used to detract from the abuses carried out by the police    

    “While those accused of criminal and administrative offences during the protests have been pardoned, it does not absolve the Ukrainian authorities from their responsibility for human rights violations that have taken place over the last month,” said Heather McGill, Amnesty International’s researcher on Ukraine.

    “Successive Ukrainian governments have failed to address deeply rooted systemic flaws in policing and the criminal justice system. It is of the utmost importance that the perpetrators of human rights violations must still be held to account.”

    November 30, 2013

    The violent dispersal of demonstrators on Independence Square (Maidan) in the centre of Kyiv on Saturday morning shows a shameful disregard for peoples right to peacefully protest said Amnesty International.

    The organization is calling for a prompt, effective and independent investigation into allegations of abusive use of force by officers from the Berkut riot police force.

    “Inchoosing to violently disperse the demonstration early this morning the Ukrainian authorities are violating the very standards and values towards which they claim to be aspiring,” said Heather McGill, Amnesty International Researcher on Ukraine.

    Shortly before 4 am on 30 November riot police moved in on demonstrators in large numbers. They were preceded by local authority workers in trucks who were bringing equipment to erect thetraditional New Year tree in the square. A Ministry of Interior spokesperson speaking on Channel 5 TV station justified the dispersal of demonstrators claiming that preparation had to be made for the New Year festivities.

    November 19, 2013

    The Ukrainian authorities must make real progress toward elimination of torture and other ill-treatment by law enforcement officials in line with the country’s international obligations, Amnesty International said, ahead of the signing of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.

    “Irrespective of the future of the Association Agreement with Ukraine, the EU must go on pushing Ukraine to comply with its international obligations. Ukraine is an important member of the European and international community. The country’s authorities have voluntarily signed up to all major international human rights agreements – the absolute ban on torture among them,” said Heather McGill, Amnesty International’s researcher on Ukraine.

    The Association Agreement offers enhanced cooperation in trade, energy, banking and many other areas, and is based on common values, including “democracy and rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, [and] good governance”.

    September 06, 2013

    Ukraine’s bid to persuade the European Commission to release the country from its commitment to legislate against homophobia is an unacceptable attempt to deny equal rights in the country, Amnesty International said today.

    “Ukraine cannot pick and choose which citizens should be protected from discrimination. Instead it must honour its commitment to develop a legal framework to combat homophobia and the EU must hold it to that commitment at every opportunity,” said Denis Krivosheev, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

    On Thursday Ukraine’s Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, Valeriya Lutkowska, announced that she and a number of parliamentarians said they will travel to Brussels to persuade the EU to release the country from its responsibility to legislate against discrimination.

    In June 2013, the Ukrainian government made a commitment to the EU that it would develop a legal framework to protect minorities from discrimination.

    July 13, 2013

    The latest violent reaction to allegations of abuse by Ukraine’s police force underlines the urgent need for the government to address public concern that the force has become little more than a criminal enterprise, Amnesty International said today.

    Hundreds of residents tried to storm  Svatoshyno police station in Kyiv on Friday night. The events were triggered by reports that apolice officer had  punched a young woman in the stomach when she asked him to speak to her in Ukrainian rather than Russian. She was hospitalised with a suspected broken rib after the assault.

    Demonstrators brokethrough the police station's perimeter fence before being pushed back.

    The crowd chanted'Vradiyivka' in reference to protests two weeks ago when residents laid siege to Vradiyivka police station in southern Ukraine. Those angry scenes were sparked by the gang-rape of a 29 year old woman who was beaten and left for dead by three men, two of whom she has identified as local police officers.

    May 27, 2013

    Amnesty International and the organizers of KyivPride 2013 welcome the cooperation and protection provided by the Ukrainian police during Saturday’s first ever successful LGBTI Pride March in Ukraine. The Ministry of Internal Affairs’ recognition and fulfillment of their obligation to protect the right to freedom of peaceful assembly for LGBTI people is an important step in combating discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Ukraine.

    However, both Amnesty International and the KyivPride organizers remain concerned that the Kyiv City Council chose to ban the Pride March from the city centre, forcing organizers to change to an alternative location at the last moment and curtailing participant’s right to freedom of peaceful assembly. Amnesty International and the Kyiv Pride organizing committee urge the authorities not to impose such limitations on events where LGBTI people seek to peacefully express their views in future.

    May 23, 2013

    Just days before the Ukrainian capital Kyiv was due to host its first-ever Pride march, a city court has banned the event in what Amnesty International called a shameful about-face that tramples on human rights.

    Thursday’s court hearing cited this weekend’s Kyiv Day celebrations in the city centre – which coincide with the planned Pride march on 25 May – as a reason for banning the event. For the first time ever, the Kyiv city council applied to the courts for a ban of all public events not organized by them during Kyiv Day.

    In their application to the court, city authorities raised the spectre of a threat of violence against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) activists organizing the march, despite earlier police assurances that they can guarantee the protection of Pride march demonstrators.

    Last year, a planned Kyiv Pride march had to be cancelled in the face of a violent threat posed by groups of extreme-right youth.

    May 16, 2013

    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people in Ukraine continue to face discrimination, and many are targeted for violence and abuse by public officials and members of the public.

    Amnesty International has documented several violent attacks against LGBTI people, some carried out by public officials, and some by members of the public. In some cases such attacks have resulted in death. Yet the authorities fail to investigate these crimes promptly, thoroughly, effectively and impartially, and, moreover, fuel the pervasive negative stereotypes about LGBTI people in Ukrainian society which underpin the attacks.

    Amnesty International therefore recommends that the Ukrainian government take negative stereotypes and hatred against LGBTI people on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity into account in the investigation, prosecution and sentencing of hate crimes.

    May 16, 2013

    The Ukrainian government must introduce legislation to address discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity following a number of attacks on individuals, Amnesty International said in a report published today.

    Lawmakers should also vote down proposed legislation to criminalize the “propaganda of homosexuality”, something that is being debated in Parliament at the moment.

    “People have been beaten and in one case murdered because of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Most of these crimes have not been properly investigated and have gone unpunished,” said Max Tucker, an Amnesty International expert on Ukraine.

    “To add insult to injury, the possibility of attack is now routinely used as an excuse to deprive gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people of their rights to express themselves and to hold public events in a peaceful manner.”

    April 11, 2013

    The Ukrainian authorities must seize the current political opportunity to stop the high level of torture and other ill treatment being carried out by its police force by creating a genuinely independent, impartial and effective institution to investigate complaints against the police, Amnesty International said in a report published today.

    “Beatings and torture continue unabated in the Ukraine in spite of the new Criminal Procedure Code adopted by the government late last year. No concrete steps have been taken to set up an independent police accountability mechanism, allowing the police to get away with shocking levels of mistreatment of detainees,” said David Diaz-Jogeix, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Program Director.

    In a new report, Ukraine: Don’t stop halfway: Government must use new Criminal Procedure Code to end torture, Amnesty International examines new cases of torture and other ill-treatment and calls on the government to seize the opportunity created by the new Criminal Procedure Code to establish a State Investigation Bureau as an effective deterrent to would-be torturers among the police.

    Pages

    Subscribe to Ukraine