By David Sophrin
Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe
KIEV, Ukraine – The human rights watchdog group, Amnesty International, called on Wednesday for the Ukrainian government to reign in growing allegations of police corruption and human rights violations.
The group’s recommendations were part of a broader report issued by Amnesty International to the new President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. Included were suggestions on how the national government could avoid past practices such as police brutality and racial discrimination. The report also focused on the issue of foreign migrant workers being the targets of these abuses. Similar concerns over police practices were raised in Amnesty’s report on Ukraine five years ago. The ultimate objective of these proposed reforms is to bring Ukraine in line with international rights standards.
Amnesty International officials stated that “the new authorities in Kyiv must not squander the progress in the protection of human rights that Ukraine has made over the last 20 years.”
Also emphasized was Ukraine’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. The former Soviet republic typically accepts less than 6% of the asylum applicants. Refugees from nations with questionable human rights records are often sent back, despite the potential for those refugees to face persecution for attempting to leave.
In response to Amnesty’s report, the Yanukovych administration announced that it would support the creation of an independent governmental agency that would investigate allegations of police activity. Presidential spokesman Hanna Herman stated that “everything possible will be done in order that no case of infringements on these rights be left without relevant reaction from the side of authorities, and those guilty be punished.”
For more information, please see:
ETHIOPIAN REVIEW – Ukrainian authorities respond to Amnesty International’s human rights challenge – 15 April, 2010
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL – Ukraine: Report calls on new President to back ‘words with deeds’ on human rights – 14 April, 2010
AP – Rights group urges Ukraine to end police abusers – 14 April, 2010
RADIO FREE EUROPE – Amnesty Urges Ukraine To End Rights Abuses – 14 April, 2010