Demand Justice for Murdered Lawyer

Target: Yuriya Sevruk, Acting Prosecutor General of Ukraine

Goal: Investigate the murder of a human rights lawyer and ensure the safety of his colleagues.

The body of Yuri Grabovski, a Ukrainian human rights lawyer who has been involved in a high profile case since 2015, has been found about 60 miles outside of Kiev. It is imperative that the other lawyers working on the same case be protected and that an investigation be made into Grabovski’s murder.

Grabovski, who has been defending Aleksandr Aleksandrov in a controversial case, went missing from his office after taking several papers pertaining to the case out of his safe. He had been outspoken about the harassment and threats he had been subjected to since taking on the case, and his worst fears came to pass–he was beaten and shot to death before being buried in a shallow grave.

He was found with an explosive device strapped to his ankle, which authorities believe may have been used by his killers to force him into compliance. A video retrieved from iCloud as part of the investigation shows a visibly distressed Grabovski renouncing his aid to his client and, after prompting from an off-camera voice, saying that he realizes his mistake in defending him.

A new lawyer has been appointed to Aleksandrov’s case, and lawyer Oksana Sokolovskaya, who had previously formed part of the defense team, will continue in that capacity. It is imperative that both lawyers receive protection in accordance with their own wishes, and it is essential that the murder of Yuri Grabovski be investigated and his killers brought to justice. Sign the petition and demand that the Ukrainian government honor the memory of Yuri Grabovski by protecting those he leaves behind.


Dear Acting Prosecutor General Sevruk,

I am writing to convey my deep sadness at the news of Yuri Grabovski’s murder. However, I am also deeply concerned for the safety of his colleagues, Oksana Sokolovskaya and Valentyn Rybin, who continue their case in his absence. I urge you to prevent further violence and to address the great tragedy that has already occurred. Provide Sokolovskaya and Rybin with protection in accordance with their wishes, investigate the murder of Yuri Grabovski, and bring those responsible for his death to justice.

Grabovski had received threats and harassment before, but when he disappeared for nearly three weeks, his colleagues began to fear the worst. They were right–his body was discovered in a shallow grave about 60 miles outside of Kiev. He had been beaten and shot, and an explosive device was strapped to his ankle, likely in order to force him to comply with his kidnappers.

In the course of the investigation so far, a video has been retrieved from iCloud in which a visibly distressed Grabovski promises to walk away from the case and his client. In response to off-camera prompting, he “admits” to having made a “mistake.”

Grabovski’s colleages, Oksana Sokolovskaya and Valentyn Rybin, remain attached to the case. It is imperative that they be protected from a similar fate and that they be free to carry out their human rights work without threat of violence or harassment. I implore you to provide them with whatever protection they may require, and I urge you to ensure that Yuri Grabovski’s murder is thoroughly investigated and his killers brought to justice.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: chief39

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