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International Advisory Panel: Maidan investigation failed European human rights standards

Today, independent experts have declared that the investigation into violent incidents during the Maidan demonstration failed to satisfy European human rights standards.

The Maidan violence inquiry also suffered from a lack of cooperation by Ukraine state agencies and insufficient resources and personnel changes in the Prosecutor’s General Office, according to the International Advisory Panel (IAP), which published its findings earlier today.

The panel was set-up by Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland, to review the inquiry into violence in Ukraine, which took place between 30 November 2013 and 21 February 2014.

Jagland responded to the IAP report by pledging the continued support of the organisation to the country’s reform commitments.

“The review of the Maidan investigations by the independent International Advisory Panel was endorsed by all Member States including Ukraine,” said the Secretary General. “I would like to thank President Poroshenko for enabling and supporting the panel’s work. The findings of the report are a solid basis to progress the investigations and carry out the necessary reforms in Ukraine.”

The IAP concluded that prior to 22 February 2014, during the three months of the demonstrations, “there was no genuine attempt to pursue investigations.”

This, “inevitably meant that the investigations did not begin promptly, and this constituted, in itself, a substantial challenge for the investigations which took place thereafter.”

After 22 February 2014, the panel acknowledged that the investigations faced significant challenges, which, however, “cannot excuse any failings which did not inevitably flow from them.”

The IAP considered that the Maidan inquiry lacked practical independence. The investigation was hampered because the resources of the Prosecutor’s General Office (PGO) allocated to the Maidan investigations were “wholly inadequate.” There was also a lack of continuity in the leadership of the PGO investigations. The allocation of investigative work was inefficient.

Moreover, the uncooperative attitude of the Ministry of Interior and of the State Security Service of Ukraine had a negative impact on the investigation, according to the IAP.

The IAP confirmed that, as a result of these investigative deficiencies, substantial progress had not been made in the Maidan investigations.

More information

The Essential

Video: Press conference to launch of IAP report [en]

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