For the second time in two weeks an activist was attacked in Ivano-Frankivsk
On August 17 at 2:40 p.m. for the second time an activist was attacked in the center of Ivano-Frankivsk.
As reported by victim Andriy (the names of activists are changed in this news article due to the risk of persecution – ed.) himself to the Human Rights Information Centre.
According to Andriy, the attacker was the same young man who attacked him during the presentation of the “Left Europe” book on August 8. At that time about 40 young people disrupted a lection on social movements and have beaten two activists – 31-year old Andriy and 16-year old Yevgeniya.
Andriy said that he was approached by a young man from behind when he was walking with activists. He grabbed Andriy by the shoulder and asked: “Well, remember me? If you won’t leave Frankivsk in 5 minutes then you will have problems”. He left afterwards.
Activists have immediately turned to the police and continued their movement around the city. After 20 minutes, the same young man approached the group of activists, but this time he was together with a friend. While saying “I warned you!” he hit Andriy in the face two times and shouted that he would kill him and other activists standing next to him.
According to the victim, the police arrived in three minutes, however the attacker and friend had already disappeared.
“When crimes go unpunished – they get repeated. And when the same activist get attacked by the same attacker a few days apart, but in another city, it’s already a manhunt”, – said Liudmyla Yankyna, human rights defender of the Human Rights Information Centre.
At the request of the Human Rights Information Centre, this case was taken under personal control by the Department of the Authorized Chairman of the National Police on the Observance of Human Rights in Ivano-Frankivsk city. Chairman of the Department Kristina Ovsepyan at most contributes to the observance of the victims’ rights, commented Liudmyla Yankyna.
Law enforcement officers have registered information on the attack in the Unified Register of the Pre-Trial Decisions.
This time, witnesses were able to take a photo of the attacker and they handed it over to the law enforcement officers. This photo should be transferred to the police of the Chernivtsi city, where the first attack on the activists took place.
On August 16, investigators have opened a criminal proceeding under Article 126 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (“beatings and torture”).
As a reminder, the Human Rights Information Centre has recorded more than 50 cases of obstruction of the activities of human rights defenders and social activists that occurred between March 2014 and March 2017. These cases are described in the report “Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Government-Controlled Territories of Ukraine: Three Years After the Euromaidan”.