The European Court got down to the Euromaidan

On October 26, the European Court of Human Rights published a statement of Notice to the Ukrainian Government on its website regarding 33 complaints related to tragic events that took place during the Revolution of Dignity on the Euromaidan.

A notice is one of the final stages in hearing the case in the ECHR, and the Ukrainian Government is obliged to comment on all complaints that applicants submitted against it. If the Government refuses to do this, the very fact of refusal will become an argument against it while further proceedings in the court. Among the questions that the ECHR invites to answer are as follows:

1.   Were the complainants subject to tortures, non-human, or humiliating treatment by police?

2.   Did the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine conduct an effective investigation of the above-mentioned complaints?

3.   Did violation of complainants’ right of peaceful assembly take place?

4.   Did the complainants have effective means of legal protection with respect to their complaints?

Thus, the Ukrainian Government has either to confirm or deny certain facts of crimes committed against the Euromaidan participants. All documents in turn will be passed to representatives of the applicants – to their advocates. Among the applicants are Pavlo Shmorhunov, Borys Yehiazarian, Roman Ratushnyi, Oleh Zadoianchuk, Viktor Smalii, Serhii Verbytskyi, Vladyslav Zahorovka, and other people who were brutally treated by state bodies during the Revolution of Dignity. Approximately half of the present 33 cases were supported by the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union. 

“We supported the advocates, helped them to draw up a legal position, prepared complaints to the ECHR, – Mykhailo Tarakhkalo, UHHRU Director on Strategic Affairs, explains. Now we hope that justice will be finally restored and it will be indicated who is to blame in the crimes committed during the Euromaidan. The applicants will be able to get the due compensation for the damages they suffered”.

As a result of the ECHR decision, the applicants may get a compensation from Ukraine from euro 5 to 50 thousand, depending on the level of injuries. If Yatseniuk’s Ministry has to bear responsibility for the crimes of Azarov’s Ministry is a controversial issue. However, the ECHR may announce that the state of Ukraine is guilty for beating students during the Euromaidan. Apart from that, the state power of Ukraine may be found guilty for its current unwillingness to duly investigate crimes against participants of the Euromaidan.

“Around two years have passed since the victory of the Revolution of Dignity, but those guilty in beating and torturing the Euromaidan participants have not been punished yet, – Mykhailo Tarakhkalo says. It is abnormal when people wait for justice for so long. The state must take responsibility for this”.

The ECHR notice may encourage the Ukrainian Government to conduct a more rapid and effective investigation of criminal cases against representatives of the former government.

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