Ukraine Human Rights

Recent protests in Ukraine have resulted in dozens of deaths, highlighting the urgent need to bring accountability to human rights violations and guarantee citizens' right to peaceful assembly. A relatively new state, independent only since 1991, post-Soviet Ukraine has been considering a closer association with the European Union. Some Ukrainians, however, wish to maintain close ties with Russia. The protests of late 2013 and early 2014 expressed anger over Ukraine's leadership's decision to halt the formalizing of closer ties with the European Union. Ukrainian authorities' attempt to disperse protests resulted in many deaths, including those of police officers.

A subsequent agreement between opposition leaders and the government offered hope for a peaceful resolution, after which the cabinet of Mr. Yanukovych, and the president himself, left the capital city. It is imperative that Ukrainian authorities conduct impartial investigation of protest-related human rights violations and hold all responsible parties to account.

Human rights violations in Ukraine are not limited to "EuroMaydan" events. In 2013, police torture and other ill-treatment remained widespread, and impunity for such acts continued. Failings in the criminal justice system led to lengthy periods of pre-trial detention, and a lack of safeguards for detainees. Refugees and asylum-seekers risked detention and forcible return to countries where they faced human rights violations. The rights of LGBTI individuals were at risk.

Read more: Amnesty International’s written statement to the 25th session of the UN Human Rights Council

Ukraine Newsroom

September 7, 2019 • Press Release

Filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and others freed in prisoner swap

Reacting to the news that Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and dozens of other detainees have been released as a part of prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine, Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, said: “Oleg Sentsov and many others jailed following Russia’s occupation and illegal annexation of Crimea are simply …

December 6, 2018 • Press Release

Lawyer detained in Crimea in latest campaign of harassment targeting human rights defenders

Responding to the news that Crimean lawyer Emil Kurbedinov was detained by the de-facto authorities in Russian-occupied Crimea and is now facing charges for a Facebook post he made five years ago, Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia said: “Following yesterday’s arrest of prominent human rights defender Lev Ponomarev in …

November 30, 2018 • Press Release

Amnesty and Sofar Sounds partner for Write for Rights concert and letter writing event

On Saturday, December 8, human rights organization Amnesty International USA in partnership with live music events startup Sofar Sounds will host a powerful evening of collective action along with an intimate concert experience in New York City. The event, Write for Rights, is aimed at securing justice for women human rights defenders under threat and …

November 28, 2018 • Press Release

Amnesty International launches world’s biggest human rights campaign

Women human rights defenders around the world are facing unprecedented levels of abuse, intimidation and violence, said Amnesty International as it launched its global Write for Rights campaign, in a bid to shine a spotlight on brave women who have been harassed, jailed, tortured or even killed for their human rights work. Women continue to …

August 2, 2018 • Press Release

Amnesty International denied access to Oleg Sentsov, on hunger strike for 81 days

Reacting to the Russian authorities’ refusal to grant Amnesty International access to Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, currently 81 days into a hunger strike in a penal colony in the Russian Artic, Oksana Pokalchuk, Amnesty International’s Ukraine Director, said: “Denying us the right to visit Oleg Sentsov is indefensible. After almost 3 months on hunger strike, …

June 18, 2018 • Press Release

Ukraine: “March of equality” in Kyiv is a new human rights triumph

This year’s Kyiv Pride demonstration, which brought together thousands of people in a display of solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community in Ukraine, is a significant human rights achievement for the country, Amnesty International said today. “In a country where homophobic attitudes are still strong, and where LGBTI rights activists …

May 11, 2018 • Press Release

Ukraine: Attack on LGBTI event highlights police failure to confront far-right violence

Responding to the disruption by far-right groups of an LGBTI rights meeting organized by Amnesty International in Kyiv on Thursday evening, Denis Krivosheev, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office, said:

December 14, 2016 • Report

Crimea: In the Dark: The silencing of dissent

The Crimean Tatar community has been subjected to systematic persecution by the Russian authorities since the occupation and illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, said Amnesty International in a report published today.

August 26, 2016 • Press Release

Ukraine: Authorities must commit to a thorough investigation after 13 people released from secret detention

Fresh details of secret detention by the Ukrainian authorities have emerged following the release of 13 people from a Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) compound in Kharkiv, said Amnesty InternationaI and Human Rights Watch today. The release comes after Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch exposed the use of torture and secret detention by both …

July 20, 2016 • Press Release

Car bomb killing of journalist despicable attack on freedom of expression in Ukraine

This morning’s killing of prominent journalist Pavel Sheremet by a car bomb in central Kyiv is a reprehensible act that has sent a shockwave for freedom of expression in Ukraine, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said.

Human rights are under threat: