On the sixth anniversary of Kiev’s Maidan of December 2013 – February 2014, there have been no results from the investigation of the mass shooting of people which occurred mostly on November 20, 2013.
UNIAN agency states that “Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stresses the importance of real results of an investigation into crimes committed against participants in the Revolution of Dignity. … A museum is not enough to honor the deceased. We need real investigation results of the Maidan cases,” he said during official events to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the Revolution of Dignity in Kyiv, according to the president’s press service.
The Ukrainian State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) has set up a unit to work on the investigation of crimes committed during the Maidan protests. This was reported by the director of the State Bureau of Investigations Roman Truba on his Telegram-channel.
The families of the slain “Heavenly Hundred”, reports the Kharkov Human Rights Portection Group, are planning to seek justice at the European Court of Human Rights. They point out that “the post-Maidan Ukrainian authorities are dragging out or even obstructing the investigation into the crimes committed.”
During a press briefing on 19 February, Vitaly Tytych, one of the lawyers representing the victims’ families, explained that for a long time they had hoped that there was the will to ensure a proper investigation and court proceedings. They are now forced to conclude that Ukraine is not complying with the European Convention on Human Rights. Tytych made it clear that an application to ECHR is still only being considered, but suggests that this could stop the ‘manipulation’ by the authorities whose interest in an effective investigation has been in words alone.
The Ukrainian 112 News Channel reported that on November 20, the investigation into the Maidan cases might be interrupted since Parliament did not approve the norm for ensuring the investigation. A lawyer of the Heaven Hundred relatives, Yevheniya Zakrevska, reported that “the Parliament did not vote on the norm to ensure investigations in the Maidan case after November 20 … it did not have time for it. The next attempt would be only on December 3.” That is, on November 20 “we still have a black hole, – – they send the investigations into the abyss”, Zakrevska said. On November 25 the Kyiv Post reported that she went on a hunger strike “in a desperate attempt to force Ukraine’s leaders to prevent the collapse of almost all Maidan investigations.”
Novoye Vremya magazine quotes Oleh Sentsov as calling on people to support Yevheniya Zakrevska in her decision to continue her hunger strike until the investigation in the shootings in Maidan is resumed.
Novoye Vremya also quotes the spokesperson of the State Bureau of Investigations, Angelika Ivanova, that “to avoid interruptions in the investigation, we have staffed the newly created unit with our own staff.” The problem with the interruption is due to the fact that the transfer of the investigators from the group which worked on the Maidan shooting case at the prosecutor’s office is not possible without the required decision by the Parliament.
Znak.ua tells Davyd Arakhamia, the head of the President’s party in Parliament, assures Yevheniya Zakrevska that the party is going to vote for the necessary amendments but possibly only after December 3rd.
In 2015 the Chair of the International Advisory Panel (IAP) on Ukraine, Sir Nicolas Bratza, in his address to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe presented the key findings of the Panel’s report which among other observations pointed to a lack of independence and effectiveness in the investigation and in particular a failure by the Ministry of Interior and the State Security Service of Ukraine to co-operate with the Prosecutor General’s Office. It was noted then that the report caused strong criticism from the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, which caused Sir Nicolas “to mention genuine effort and positive changes.”