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Protesters In Kyiv Demand Thorough Investigation Into Death Of Noted Activist


Oleksiy Kuchapin

KYIV -- Dozens of protesters have picketed Ukraine's Interior Ministry headquarters in Kyiv, demanding a thorough investigation of the death of a well-known activist, Oleksiy Kuchapin.

Kuchapin was the 39-year-old leader of the House Of Mercy nongovernmental organization, which helps homeless people. He was found dead in a Kyiv apartment on July 22 after having been missing for six days.

Police said at the time that his body did not carry any traces of violence, adding that the evidence -- namely, unidentified pills and a note found near the body -- suggested that Kuchapin had committed suicide.

Autopsy results are pending.

The protesters demanded on July 24 that the case be investigated as a murder, not a suicide.

Kuchapin's friends and colleagues say that in recent months he was involved in assisting young girls who had become victims of human trafficking. They say he had also helped elderly people return to apartments that had been illegally taken by others.

According to Kuchapin's colleagues and friends, he had recently received numerous threats from unknown individuals.

Based on reporting by Ukrayinska Pravda, Hromadske, and UNIAN
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