Statement of the Coalition on ineffective investigation of the murder of a civic activist Kateryna Handziuk

We Ukrainian human rights organizations believe inappropriate covering those who ordered an assault on Kateryna Handziuk. We call law enforcements to investigate not only a murder of Kateryna but also the sabotage of investigation itself.

On November 4, 2018 the world was shocked by a horrible news about the death of Kateryna Handziuk. Representatives of law enforcement agencies made another portion of statements to ensure that all necessary measures are taken to identify and punish those, who are responsible for the murder. However, after a year past, aside from court decisions to five executors of the crime, police did not pass to the court a single conviction acts regarding those, whom police calls related to organization and ordering this murder. Thus, probable organizer of an attack Oleksiy Levin, who was called as a suspect in this case, left the country once the materials of the case went on public and currently hides. Another suspect, Ihor Pavlovskyi, who was arrested recently after the death of Handziuk and who by the police version is an intermediary in organizing this crime, as released by the court on personal surety and did not show at the court sessions for four times. Vlasydslav Manger, who by the words of relatives and friends of Kateryna is one of those who ordered the murder, was released from the custody on bail of 2,5 million UAH. He has all the chances to avoid fair court process. The rest suspects are still not identified.

It is important to say that such small proceedings in the case became possible only due to the pressure of initiative “Who ordered Katya Handziuk”, control of human rights defenders, media, journalists investigations as well as international attention.

Today we see statements of leaders of Prosecutor’s General Office and representatives of the Security Service of Ukraine on significant progress in this case. However, unfortunately we saw the same statements without any results, made by predecessors of the heads of law enforcements.

Given the above said, we call chiefs of law enforcement agencies, heads of investigative units and certain prosecutors and investigators who work on the case to investigate this outrages and cynic murder of civic and anti-corruption activist, Kateryna Handziuk in professional, effective and inevitable manner. We demand to make liable not only criminals who ordered organized and executed this murder but also those public servants who covered them. We warn the representatives of government authorities, especially Ruslan Riaboshapka, Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Ivan Bakanov, Head of the Security Service of Ukraine to avoid making empty promises, dedicated to the tragic date. We call the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to establish effective Temporary Investigative Commission to investigate attacks on Kateryna Handziuk and other activists as well as publish information on the progress of investigation of attacks on civic activists.

We call President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyi to intensify personal control over the investigation of Kateryna Handziuk and take all measures to protect civil society in Ukraine.

Impunity for attack in the case of Kateryna Handziuk and other activists as well as conclusions, which has not been made by previous government and law enforcements authority on previous attacks create new waves of violence against civil society. We call to prevent these attacks by creating effective investigation and rule of law.

Source: Information Center on Human Rights ZMINA 

Sign the Statement