Ukraine: Human rights group calls on the ICC to open an investigation on Euromaidan Case

The International Criminal Court (ICC) must open an investigation on the Euromaidan Case, says the Coalition of Public Organizations and Initiatives for Combating Impunity of Crimes against Humanity, a group of 13 member organizations and initiatives, with support from FIDH and the International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR), while it submitted today a communication to the Prosecutor of the ICC. This document provides a detailed overview of numerous crimes, amounting to crimes against humanity, committed against civilians during three months across the country by the state authorities and paramilitary groups (titushky) affiliated with the state.

Representatives of the Coalition have been in contact with the Office of the Prosecutor since April 2014, shortly after its decision to open a preliminary examination on these events. First submission in July 2014 was a narrative of events during Euromaidan. By that time, the ICC had not received any official data from the state authorities in Ukraine.

“This second submission provides a full picture of the widespread and systematic murders and persecution of protesters with the use of both legal tools (unlawful arrests, fabricated administrative and criminal cases, detention etc.) and illegal methods (assaults, torture, murders)” , explains Euromaidan SOS Coordinator, Chair of the Center for Civil Liberties Oleksandra Matviychuk. “In fact, we are dealing with a consistent and elaborately planned campaign against hundreds of thousands of civilians who were targeted simply due to the real or perceived opposition to the former President Yanukovych, his administration, and political decisions, including the refusal to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union” .

The ICC Office of the Prosecutor is now conducting a preliminary examination into the Euromaidan case. “Violations committed clearly amount to crimes against humanity, so it is now time to move from a preliminary examination to a real investigation” , declared the Coalition.

The communication establishes that State repression led to 115 murders, including at least 95 activists of Euromaidan; at least 700 protesters were seriously injured; 27 people are missing.

All members of the Coalition prepared separate chapters or provided information for the second communication to the ICC. The Coalition includes: Public Initiative Euromaidan SOS, Human Rights Information Center, International Renaissance Foundation, No Borders Project of the Social Action Centre NGO, Initiative E+ NGO, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Kharkiv Human Rights Group, Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation, Center for Political and Legal Reforms, Association of Ukrainian Human Rights Monitors on Law Enforcement, NGO “Public Commission on Investigation and Prevention of Human Rights Violations in Ukraine”, Group of lawyers of the families of the Heavenly Hundred, and the Office of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights.

Notes:

On February 25, 2014, Verkhovna Rada ratified a Declaration recognizing the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court over crimes against humanity committed by senior officials of the state, which led to extremely grave consequences and mass murders of Ukrainian nationals during peaceful between 21 November 2013 and 22 February 2014. The declaration for recognition of ICC jurisdiction with regard to particular crimes is pursuant to paragraph 2 of Article 11 and paragraphs 2 and 3 of Article 12 of the Rome Statute.
The Declaration was lodged with the Registrar of the International Criminal Court on April 17, 2014. On April 25, 2014, the ICC Prosecutor opened a preliminary examination into the case to consider issues of jurisdiction and complementarity. Official communication between the ICC and the Government of Ukraine is in progress. In November 2014, the ICC delegation visited Kyiv to assess the situation.

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