Statement of the Coalition for Protecting Civil Society on establishment of Temporary Investigation Commission of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of IX convocation to investigate cases of attack on Kateryna Handziuk and other civic activists.

Civil society in Ukraine demands from Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of IX convocation to establish Temporary Investigation Commission in order to investigate attacks on Kateryna Nadziuk and other civic activists.

In 2017-2018, a wave of unprecedented attacks on civic activists took place in Ukraine. Civic activists gathered information on the most violent attacks and murders starting from 2017. This is so-called “List of Handziuk”, which includes 55 cases of attacks 5 of which were murders. On November 6, 2018, after two days of the death of Kateryna Handziuk, on a demand of the society, Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine established Temporary Investigation Commission, which aim was to investigate attacks on Kateryna Handziuk and other activists. Commission existed for 6 months. For this period, it directed inquiries to law enforcement agencies of Ukraine with regard to 55 attacks on civic activists and interrogated number of law enforcement officers as well as had 3 outer sessions in Kherson, Odesa and Kharkiv.

Due to the work of the TIC, cases of attacks on civic activists were under control of the Parliament, which allowed to reduce the risk of ineffective investigation of the law enforcements. The report, prepared by TIC and adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in July 2019, TIC identified gaps and failures of law enforcement agencies during the investigation of attacks on civic activists.

However, law enforcement agencies did not make any conclusions from the report of TIC. Those who ordered these attacks are still free and not a single person, responsible for sabotaging the investigation was not identified and punished. Victims of these attacks are afraid that in the nearest future these cases will be closed down. Only an active control of the Parliament will allow to avoid these risks and finish investigations of attacks on civic activists to its logic end i.e. making all responsible for the attacks liable.

With this said, we demand from the MPs and Parliamentary forces of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of IX convocation to establish Temporary Investigation Commission of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to work for one year and investigate the attacks on Kateryna Handziuk and other activists.