Statement of the Coalition for Protecting Civil Society with regard to inactivity of police in investigating attack on “Ukrinform”

On July 30, 2019 a group of 10 individuals wearing t-shirts with a name of the organization “Tradition and Order” attacked Ukrainian National Information Agency “Ukrinfom” where at that time a press-conference on possible falsifications of the elections on voting district #50 took place. In result of the attack three persons were wounded to include a journalists and a technical support employee, former ATO soldier. He suffered from physical damage. In addition, attackers damaged the property of the press-center for total worth of couple hundred thousand UAH.

At the moment, this crime was classified as hooliganism despite several people got injured and one of them severely. Police continue to do little to identify responsible for the attack even though they identified themselves as representatives of the above-mentioned organization.

Attacks against journalists and civic activists are completely unacceptable for democratic society and should be investigated properly.

It is important to mention that members of the organization “Tradition and Order” attacked or caused obstacles for holding different events of human rights nature for multiple times.  On April 11, 2019 they attacked a conference-hall of “Tourist” Hotel where they attempted to attack participants of LGBTI pride. In any of these cases attackers were not brought to justice. It is obvious that violent actions against human right and civic activists are done systemically.

We, members of the Coalition for Protecting Civil Society believe that the fact of inactivity of law enforcement agencies in investigating these cases is inappropriate. Police did not manage even to identify individuals, responsible for attacks and start effective investigation. Most of attackers managed to leave the crime scene freely despite the presence of large number of police officers. Only two members of “Tradition and Order” were detained but later they were released from the custody.  

We appeal to the authority of the Ministry of Interior of Ukraine and National Police of Ukraine to conduct quick and effective investigation of this crime and bring all responsible to justice. In addition, we call to take all necessary steps to prevent the attack in future.

We demand from the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine to take all necessary steps to review the principles of activity of “Tradition and Order” organization to compliance with Constitution and Laws of Ukraine.

Coalition for Protecting Civil Society in Ukraine