Kyiv, 10/2/2014 - “Excessive force was used against protesters by law enforcement officers and others working with them in recent months in Ukraine. It is important to prevent any further violence and to ensure accountability for the serious human rights violations which have already occurred.” This was the conclusion of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, after a visit to Ukraine (Kyiv, Vinnytsia, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhya) from 5 to 10 February 2014.
Hundreds of people have been injured, some of them seriously, during the armed interventions by riot police and subsequent confrontations between the end of November 2013 until the end of January 2014. There were also several deaths linked to the events. The Commissioner noted that, though the majority of demonstrators had behaved peacefully, there were groups which resorted to violence. A number of policemen had been injured as well, some of them seriously.
The Commissioner and his team interviewed dozens of people who were injured and/or deprived of their liberty in connection with the demonstrations and violence. (more...)