KYIV, 1 May 2020

As 2 May marks the sixth anniversary of the violence in Odesa that claimed the lives of 48 people, no individual has been held accountable for the 48 killings and deaths, said Matilda Bogner, Head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

“For the past six years, the families of the victims have been fighting for justice for the deaths of their loved ones. For those six years, justice has remained elusive,” said Ms Bogner

A briefing note published today by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine provides an update on the status of investigations and trials concerning the events in the city centre and at the Kulykove Pole square. The note also provides recommendations to the Government and the international community on moving forward to ensure justice for the deaths and killings.

“In the past year, there has been no significant progress in the investigations or trials. Regarding the deaths in the city centre, neither the investigations, nor trials have progressed since 2 May 2019. We also see that investigations into Kulykove Pole square deaths have not progressed. Nor have we observed any significant progress in the criminal proceedings against the police officials charged for failing to respond appropriately to the clashes and riots,” Ms Bogner said.

There was some progress, however, in the case against the former Head of the Odesa Regional Department of the Ministry of Interior accused of abuse of authority or official powers and breach of his duty to rescue, which was prioritized by the court and some 25 hearings occurred over the past 12 months.

“I call on the Ukrainian authorities to ensure accountability for the 2 May violence. The Office of the Prosecutor General needs to ensure effective, thorough and impartial investigations into the acts of killing and violent deaths. It is up to the presidents of the courts to prioritise the completion of criminal proceedings in the pending cases. The families of the victims have a right to truth and justice for the deaths of their loved ones,” Ms Bogner concluded.

See the briefing note “Accountability for Killings and Violent Deaths on 2 May 2014 in Odesa” here: http://www.un.org.ua/images/documents/4889/2%20May%202020%20ENG.pdf

For more information or media enquiries, please contact Tanya Tesliuchenko at +380503868069 or e-mail consultant.tesliuchenko@ohchr.org