Investigation of the Odesa tragedy: International Advisory Panel updates on its review work

Council of Europe

Strasbourg, 30.04.2015 – As the first anniversary of the tragic events in Odesa of 2 May 2014 approaches, the International Advisory Panel made a statement today to provide an overview of its work regarding the investigations by the domestic authorities.

The International Advisory Panel was set up by the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe with the initial mandate of reviewing the investigation into the violent incidents during the Maidan demonstrations in Kyiv. In September 2014, in a letter sent to the Secretary General, the Ukrainian government confirmed its acceptance that the violent events of 2 May 2014 in Odesa should also be covered by the Panel’s mandate.

On 15 September 2014, the Panel said that it would begin its review of the authorities’ investigations into the events in Odesa as soon as its Maidan-related work had reached an advanced stage of completion. This happened on the 31st of March 2015, when the Panel delivered its report on its review of the investigations into the Maidan events.

Since February 2015, the Panel has been gathering information on the investigations carried out. In February 2015, at the Panel’s request, the Prosecutor General’s Office provided information as to the investigations carried out by the various bodies. In April, the Panel put detailed questions in writing to the main investigating authorities, in particular the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Ministry of the Interior and the State Security Service of Ukraine. Requests for information were also sent to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights and the Temporary Investigation Commission, as well as to the local authorities in Odesa. Representatives of civil society were also invited to make submissions to the Panel.

After it receives the written submissions, the Panel intends to meet with the authorities and other stakeholders in Kyiv and Odesa in early June. A further round of written requests and oral discussions may follow later in the summer.

The Panel hopes that, with full co-operation from the Ukrainian authorities and the support of the Council of Europe, it will meet the high expectations of the people of Ukraine and deliver its report on the investigations into the tragic Odesa events in autumn 2015.