Back Statement of the International Advisory Panel on the occasion of the first anniversary of the tragic events in Odesa on 2 May 2014

The International Advisory Panel was set up by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe with the original role of overseeing the investigation into the violent incidents which took place from 30 November 2013 onwards in Kyiv during the Maidan demonstrations. In September 2014, in a letter sent to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the Permanent Representation of Ukraine to the Council of Europe confirmed the Ukrainian Government’s acceptance that the violent events of 2 May 2014 in Odesa should also be covered by the Panel’s Mandate. On 15 September 2014, the Panel confirmed that it would begin its review of the authorities’ investigations into the events in Odesa as soon as its Maidan-related work had reached an advanced stage of completion.

The Panel completed its work in respect of its original Mandate by delivering on 31 March 2015 its Report on its review of the investigations into the Maidan events.

As the first anniversary of the tragic events in Odesa approaches, the Panel considers it timely to provide a brief overview of its work regarding the investigations carried out by the domestic authorities into those events.

In February 2015, at the Panel’s request, the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) provided information as to the investigations which were being carried out by the various investigating bodies. In April, the Panel put detailed questions in writing to the main investigating authorities, in particular the PGO, the Ministry of the Interior (MoI) and the State Security Service of Ukraine (SSU). Requests for information were also sent to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights and the Temporary Investigation Commission, as well as to the local authorities in Odesa. Representatives of civil society were also invited to make submissions to the Panel.

Following receipt of the written submissions, the Panel intends to meet with the relevant authorities and other interested persons in Kyiv and Odesa in early June. A further round of written requests and oral discussions may follow later in the summer. It remains the Panel’s objective to conclude its enquiries and deliver its report on the investigations into the Odesa events in autumn 2015.

The Panel hopes that, with full cooperation from the Ukrainian authorities and the support of the Council of Europe, it will be able to meet the high expectations of the people of Ukraine and elsewhere in respect of its work of overview of the investigations into the Odesa events of 2 May 2014.

Strasbourg 30 April 2015
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