Translated by Ollie Richardson
The lawyers of the former President Viktor Yanukovych sent to the office of the President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier – who was the guarantor of the agreement on a peaceful resolution of the political crisis in Ukraine of February 21st, 2014 – an official statement about the need to resume the mandate of the Monitoring mission of the Council of Europe for investigating crimes on Maidan.
This was reported by the Ukrainian TV channel “112” with reference to the message on the blog of the lawyer Vitaly Serdyuk.
Serdyuk published a scan of the document. The corresponding appeal of the lawyers of Yanukovych was accepted in the office on March 29th.
According to the lawyer, in the future it is expected that deputies of the Bundestag and human rights organisations will make an official request to the European Parliament and OSCE.
According to Serdyuk, it has been decided to address Steinmeier with such a statement following the results of a series of recent meetings and talks that Serdyuk and his colleague Igor Fedorenko held in Berlin with European Parliament deputies, the Bundestag, various German politicians, and human rights activists.
“The persecution of lawyers in Ukraine for their activity, the denial of access to justice and putting pressure on judges, and blocking the media agencies that actively highlight human rights activity are manifestations of a blatant disregard for European values, to which there will be an appropriate response. This situation is the consequence of a prevalence in Ukraine of political expediency over human rights in resonant affairs, in particular concerning Maidan. The resumption of the work of the Monitoring mission that was created by the Council of Europe in order to implement the Agreement on resolving the crisis in Ukraine from 21/2/2014 work can prevent this,” explained Serdyuk.
The lawyer of Yanukovych reminds that in 2015, based on the results of the monitoring of this mission, a report was prepared about the investigation’s lack of results and about the “obstructions placed in front of him by law enforcement agencies under the control of the authorities”. However, the mandate of this Council of Europe monitoring group for some reason wasn’t extended, despite the fact that the investigation hasn’t yet ended.
“The lack of external monitoring and the personal interest of a number of Ukrainian politicians and the leadership of the General Prosecutor of Ukraine in concealing the truth about the shootings on Maidan leads to the violation of fundamental human rights and the use of criminal methods to fight against lawyers. To leave the situation unchanged is to lose hope in learning the truth about the shootings on Maidan, to be satisfied with the official version of events, and to reconcile with the public and frankly illegal pressure being put on lawyers,” added Serdyuk.
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