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Council Of Europe Urges Firm Action Against Ukraine Police Impunity

Ukrainian riot police stand in line behind a European Union flag (left) and a Ukrainian flag near one of the barricades during the continuing protests in Kyiv.
Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights, says those responsible for the use of excessive force against antigovernment protesters in Ukraine should be brought to justice.

Muiznieks visited Ukraine on February 5-10, when his team interviewed dozens of people who were injured or detained during the protests, and also met health professionals who had treated people for injuries.

In a statement on February 10, Muiznieks said: "It is not necessary to crack people's skulls and knock out several of their teeth in order to apprehend them. At the same time, it is not necessary to aim rubber bullets at persons' heads in order to bring a crowd under control or counter violence by protesters."

He also voiced concern over cases of abductions, and the use of nonofficial persons to police demonstrations.

In Washington, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a resolution supporting the democratic and European aspirations of the Ukrainian people.

The resolution also called on Ukrainian authorities to respect the rights of those Ukrainians protesting in Kyiv and other cities in Ukraine in support of a democratic future for their country.

It said Washington should consider targeted sanctions against officials who either engage or authorize violence against protesters.

The resolution was introduced by Eliot Engel, a Democrat from New York.

It passed on February 10 by a vote of 381-2.
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