The death of Kherson activist Kateryna Handziuk once again confirmed that the state cannot and does not want to protect its active citizens. Authorities are sabotaging investigations of attacks on activists.
MP Olena Sotnyk is indignant, “Ukraine declares its European course, but at the same time, it is not fulfilling the basic things that concern human rights and justice. Today this concerns activists, but tomorrow the impunity of the system might affect everyone.”
Kateryna Handziuk was doused with acid on the last day of July. The investigation went slowly. The deputy group, which also includes the representative of Samopomich, Olena Sotnyk, initiated the creation of a provisional investigatory commission to investigate the attacks on activists throughout the country. There have been more than fifty such attacks over this year.
“We initiated the creation of an investigatory commission, prepared a relevant resolution and, in accordance with the regulations, sent a letter to all faction heads asking to delegate representatives of the factions to this provisional investigatory commission (PIC). To date, we have an answer only from the Samopomich faction; tomorrow, there will be an answer from Batkivschyna.
All other factions have not reacted anyhow. In a telephone conversation, the secretariats of the factions said that they were not going to delegate their representatives. This means that all other factions are simply sabotaging the creation of PIC,” says Olena Sotnyk.
Now the deputies are forced to address the Speaker Andriy Parubiy personally and also to address each faction head during the coordination board’s meeting asking not to sabotage the creation of the provisional investigatory commission. Because now it is obvious that the situation is absolutely critical. And it is vitally important for society to understand at what stage the investigations of the attacks on activists are.
MP Sotnyk notes, “Kateryna died, and now the question is – wasn’t it a murder? Without a doubt, Kateryna’s case is the first in the list, but we still have about 50 cases concerning attacks on activists over the past year, in which the investigation is not moving anyhow. We see total inaction. And this responsibility is on the parliament now, because we have this opportunity, the function to create this provisional investigatory commission, we can involve all the necessary investigators, the heads of the territorial divisions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, prosecutors who are responsible for these investigations. And give an answer to the public – why there are still no names of the perpetrators?”
This week we should vote for the resolution on PIC and the latter should then begin its work.
Sotnyk points out that the majority of activists who were attacked are all fighting with corrupt officials on the ground, exposing specific crimes of local authorities; these are people who are performing the duties of the law enforcement agencies.
Deputies and public activists organized a large action, in which Samopomich also took part – “The Night of Silence on Bankova Street”. Sotnyk recalls, “We demanded the President to take control of this case, the National Security Council to give the relevant instructions. Back then the President came out and said that everything would change from then on. However, nothing has changed. But for one thing – Kateryna has died.”
If the system cannot protect its citizens, then why should citizens need such a system?