Ukraine: Rights groups call on authorities to address increasing attacks against human rights defenders

Author: Human Rights Watch, Published on: 4 February 2019

More than 50 attacks on activists and human rights defenders in Ukraine have been recorded by local human rights organizations in just the last nine months, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, and Frontline Defenders said today. Those under attack include people working to defend the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, protect the environment, and campaign against corruption. The organizations criticized the lack of effective investigations into these incidents and of prosecutions of those responsible, which heightens the risk to human rights defenders and sends a message that the authorities tolerate such attacks and assaults...Oleh Mikhaylyk, an anti-corruption activist, was shot in Odessa, in southern Ukraine...Mikhaylyk had campaigned with the Syla Lyudei (People’s Power) movement against illegal construction in Odessa...In June, an environmental activist, Mykola Bychko, was found dead under suspicious circumstances in a village in Kharkiv region...At the time, Bychko was documenting the pollution of a local river, allegedly caused by a nearby waste treatment plant... 

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