Thoroughly Investigate Murder and Torture of Protesters


Target: Vitaliy Zakharchenko, Ukrainian Interior Minister

Goal: Conduct independent investigations into the torture and shooting deaths of Ukrainian activists

During recent violent riots in Ukraine, several activists have been found dead, some showing signs of torture, and dozens more are missing. With the anti-government unrest at a critical point after a new anti-protest law, the situation requires immediate action to avoid further escalation.

Sergiy Nigoyan, a 20-year-old man whose parents fled to Ukraine due to violence in their native Armenia, was recently shot dead at a protest in Kiev. Two more men were killed after falling from a stadium colonnade, one was found to have a fatal gunshot wound.

Another body was found in a forest northeast of Kiev, displaying unmistakeable signs of torture. He was identified as Yuriy Verbytskyi, a protester kidnapped from a hospital the previous night with civic leader and journalist Igor Lutsenko. Lutensko was found alive, and told media that after being separated from Verbytskyi, he was beaten during interrogation by his abductors. They demanded information about the movement and the functions of the protest camps and leaders. He had a bag placed over his head, was told to pray, and was left alive in the forest.

Each of the shootings were perpetrated with different weapons- handgun, hunting rifle, and even a sniper rifle. Police deny any involvement in the deaths, and claim that the crimes were perpetrated by provocateurs intending to incite violence.

Dozens of activists remain missing, while over a thousand have been injured. Demand a thorough independent investigation into each death and disappearance, and ensure that Ukrainian authorities seek immediate deescalation of violent conflict.


Dear Vitaliy Zakharchenko, Ukrainian Interior Minister,

Recent anti-government protests have escalated to violent riots in Kiev, and demonstrators are turning up dead or missing at an alarming rate. A 20-year-old young man was shot to death during a protest, while two others were shot at the Dinamo Stadium. A man was found dead in the forest displaying signs of torture, while a man who was kidnapped at the same time was found beaten and bloodied, but alive.

Dozens of activists have been reported missing by family or friends, while injuries increase on both sides of the conflict. The situation has reached a critical point, and requires immediate attention in order to avoid further violence and death. I ask that each death and disappearance be investigated independently by the Interior Ministry, and that all possible steps be taken to reduce violence in Ukraine.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Mstyslav Chernov via Creative Commons

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