The Acting Director of Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) Oleksandr Sokolov stated that the SBI needs to take into account the recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine in its work, particularly the investigations of the killings during the Euromaidan protests in 2013-2014.
“For the State Bureau of Investigation as a law enforcement agency, the main task is to identify all those involved in the crimes that took place during the mass protests of the Revolution of Dignity (Euromaidan protests – ed.). Therefore, the Bureau cannot ignore the recommendations of an international organization of this level and will take them into account in future work,” said Sokolov, according to a report by the SBI press service.
In its February 2020 report, the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission listed the law on the immunity of the Euromaidan protesters as one of the obstacles to an effective investigation of the Euromaidan cases.
According to the report, the obstacles to the effective investigation of crimes are:
- understaffing of courts by investigative judges;
- the so-called "law on immunity", which does not allow investigations into the killings of law enforcement officers;
- several high-level Interior Ministry officials charged with the organization of crimes against protesters were not dismissed, demotivating their subordinates to testify about police involvement in these crimes;
- lack of funding for judicial review institutions.
At the same time, the Monitoring Mission recommends that the Ukrainian government:
- ensures an independent and impartial investigation of all the killings committed during Euromaidan protests;
- allocates necessary resources to expert institutions;
- ensures that there are no unnecessary and unjustified delays in the trials on murders during the Euromaidan protests;
- ensures that the suspects and accused released from custody appear in court;
- abolishes the "immunity law";
- changes the procedure of absentia proceedings allowing a full revision of the sentence after the accused has been detained.
Out of 98 murders, 43 have seen no progress in the proceedings, the UN Mission stated.
/ by Vladyslav Kudryk