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Ukraine's authorities to be called to account at European Court for Odessa tragedy

May 05, 2014, 9:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"We are gathering information and preparing to file a suit against Ukraine with the Human Rights Council to the ECHR," Member of the Civic Chamber says
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Gagarin

MOSCOW, May 05. /ITAR-TASS/. The Civic Chamber of Russia's most eminent in public life wants a role alongside experts from European states in an independent commission investigating Ukraine’s Odessa fire tragedy, a chamber announcement said on Monday.

“We will invite leading Russian and foreign lawyers to file a suit at the European Court of Human Rights. Those behind the terrible events in Odessa and other cities of the country must be brought to account,” the announcement said, adding that the chamber's co-ordinating centre for civic assistance was examining appeals from Ukrainian regions.

“To make our activity more efficient, we are considering establishing a special fund of support for Ukrainian citizens and organizing a broad Eurasian public anti-fascist front,” the chamber said.

Members of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation (PCRF) are preparing a petitions to the European Court on Human Rights (ECHR). The petition demands calling to account the Ukrainian authorities and estimating their guilt for the mass killing of citizens in Odessa and the death of civilians in other Ukrainian cities, Georgy Fyodorov, Member of the Civic Chamber, told the newspaper Izvestia.

"We are gathering information and preparing to file a suit against Ukraine with the Human Rights Council to the ECHR," he emphasized.

Izvestia recalls, "On May 2, during street clashes with nationalists, Odessa anti-Maidan activists found themselves shut inside the House of Trade Unions. Right-Sector radicals and their supporters set the building on fire and blocked exits from it, as a result of which people inside the building could not get out of the burning building: 46 people died and more than 200 sustained burns and injuries. Those who managed to get out of the burning building were done away with by radicals who staged the arson".

Georgy Fyodorov, president of the Center for Social and Political Studies 'Aspekt'" (aspect) and Member of the Civic Chamber, believes that the Kiev authorities seek to justify their crimes against their own people.

"They need to lay the blame at somebody else's door and tell the Europeans that mythical provocateurs from Russia are guilty of everything," he said.

The filing of a suit with the ECHR is being initiated by both the Civic Chamber members and Internet users. In the Internet, a group of citizens has already launched a mass campaign for the collection of signatures to the petition to the European Court. The activists are calling on the ECHR to call Ukraine's authorities to account for crimes against their own people.

The text of the petition reads as follows: "As of now, the rights of a large proportion of citizens in the State of Ukraine are not upheld by anyone inside that state! People are kidnapped and taken away to an unknown destination without any chages brought against them. They are robbed and killed with impunity. Agencies that are responsible for the maintenance of law and order keep inactive. The self-styled government is stirring up and contributes to fomenting interethnic hatred and genocide against part of its own people!"

The petition has been already signed by about 2,000 citizens, among them people of Russia, Ukraine, Italy, Greece, Germany, and other countries.


Presidential elections in Ukraine

The Russian Civic Chamber has prepared an official address in the UN and the Council of Europe with an initiative to attain a delay for presidential elections in Ukraine up to stabilization of the situation in the country through joint diplomatic efforts of leading world powers, the Civic Chamber press service reported on Monday with the reference to a statement by first deputy secretary of the chamber Vladislav Grib.

“I and my colleagues are convinced that any elections in conditions when the country is embraced by bloody clashes and official state authorities cannot guarantee security to people are destined to falsification and will actually provoke only further escalation of current conflict,” Grib said, adding that “We will ask for support of our address by all foreign partners, including the member states of the International Association of Economic and Social Councils and Similar Institutions.”

After tragic events in the cities of Odessa, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk the Civic Chamber also finds it necessary “to develop a common world position not accepting actions of current Kiev authorities.”

“After horrible crimes of this “Kiev regime” any tolerance or carefulness in their assessments is hardly suitable. Obviously this is a junta carrying out its punitive fascist operations, but “not a certain new power and its peacekeeping activity,” Grib noted, adding that “We will address separately to leading Russian media outlets asking to avoid excessive softness and vague wordings in these issues. People in our country as well as in any other country have a right to be aware of the scale of current threats.”

Meanwhile, the Civic Chamber proposed “to consider an initiative to make a special open public list of Western politicians who support punitive operations against civilians in Ukraine.

Russia's Civic Chamber is an advisory, consultative body established on President Vladimir Putin’s initiative to analyze draft legislation and monitor the activities of parliament, government and other state bodies.

It comprises Russian citizens who have performed special services to the state and society, selected by the president. The chamber assembles academics, political scientists and economic analysts, people from the arts and culture, the legal profession, journalists, the literary world, religion, business, medicine and education.

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