“Amnesty International today [April 30, 2012] called for urgent reforms within the Ukrainian police ahead of the Euro 2012 soccer competition, in the wake of the robbery and severe beating of two men by six officers in Lviv on April 21.
With only 38 days to go until Euro 2012 kicks off, Amnesty International urges the Ukrainian government to publically commit to creating an independent body to investigate complaints of police abuse, sending a clear message that rights abuses will no longer be tolerated.’
‘The Ukrainian government must take action now to stop widespread police criminality,’ said John Dalhuisen, director for Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International. ‘Failure to do so will encourage police to continue acting as a law unto themselves, and put Euro 2012 fans in danger.’
In a briefing released today on human rights violations in Ukraine, Ukraine: Euro 2012 Jeopardized by Criminal Police Force, there have been documents of numerous cases in Euro 2012 host cities in which police have tortured people in an attempt to extort money, extract a confession, or simply due to the victims’ sexuality or ethnic origin.
‘Our government claims to be striving toward European human rights standards, but officials live on a different level,’ said Andriy Golod, the lawyer representing Ihor Savchyshyn and Andrei Semenyuk. ‘They think they can do what they like with people.’”