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Amnesty International: Five Years After Euromaidan, Justice For The Victims 'Still Not Even In Sight'

Scores of people were killed in violence that erupted during the Euromaidan protests in 2014. (file photo)
Scores of people were killed in violence that erupted during the Euromaidan protests in 2014. (file photo)

Amnesty International says the Ukrainian criminal justice system has "resisted and obstructed justice" when dealing with the human rights violations committed by police during the Euromaidan protests five years ago.

Colm O Cuanachain, senior director at the office of the London-based group's secretary-general, made the comment on February 19, which marked the fifth anniversary of the protest movement's worst day of violence.

"Five years is a long time to wait when it comes to justice, and for most victims who suffered at the hands of Ukrainian police, justice is still not even in sight," he said during a trip to Kyiv.

In February 2014, Moscow-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych was pushed from power following months of massive protests known as the Euromaidan and fled to Russia.

More than 100 people were killed and 2,500 injured in clashes with security forces, some of them shot dead by snipers.

The death toll included at least 13 police officers, according to Ukrainian authorities.

As of the end of 2018, the Ukrainian Prosecutor-General’s Office had identified 441 suspects, most of them former law enforcement officers, according to Amnesty.

The rights watchdog said that the cases of 288 individuals had been sent to court, 52 of them resulting in court decisions.

Out of 48 convictions, "only nine custodial sentences were handed down," it added, and not one of those jailed was a former police officer.

"Promises were made, strong words were said by the post-Yanukovych authorities, but time and facts speak volumes," Cuanachain said. "Until all those responsible, including those in command, are brought to account there can be no sense of justice.”

Following Yanukovych's downfall, Russia seized and annexed Ukraine's Crimea region in March 2014.

Moscow is also supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine in a conflict that has killed more than 10,300 people since April 2014.

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