World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Ukraine: Activist Leader Missing

Third Such Disappearance In One Week

January 26, 2014

(Kiev) – One of the leaders of Kiev’s protest movement has been missing since January 22, 2014. Dmitri Bulatov, 35, is the third protest activist who has disappeared in the past week. Human Rights Watch called on Ukrainian authorities to urgently undertake a thorough investigation to locate him and ensure his safety and well-being.

“We are gravely concerned about Dmitri Bulatov’s life and safety,” said Yulia Gorbunova, Ukraineresearcher at Human Rights Watch. “Bulatov is one of the leaders of the protest movement and had been threatened in recent weeks. There is every reason to believe his disappearance is related to his activism.”

On January 23, police arbitrarily detained another activist – a volunteer for the protest movement’s medical service – took all her personal belongings, and dumped her in a forest outside Kiev, sparking concern police could also be involved in Bulatov’s disappearance. On January 21, unknown assailants kidnapped and beat two other prominent protest activists, Ihor Lutsenko and Yuri Verbitsky. The assailants released Lutsenko, who is being hospitalized for his injuries. Verbitsky’s body was found on January 22.

Bulatov is one of the leaders of AutoMaidan, which is part of the protest movement on Kiev’s Independence Square, known as Maidan. AutoMaidan organizes convoys of motorists who organised rallies and patrolled the city to protect protesters at Independence Square and other areas from pro-government provocateurs.

A lawyer representing Bulatov’s family, Dmitri Yovdi, told Human Rights Watch that the last contact Bulatov’s friends and family had from him was on January 23 at around 7 p.m. local time, when he told his wife he was going to a meeting. Another friend saw him last around 2 p.m. when he was leaving home, headed toward the outskirts of Kiev. Friends and relatives tried calling him until early hours of the next morning, when his cell phone number ceased working. His car is also missing.

On January 24, police broke up a convoy of AutoMaidan activists in their cars, smashing the vehicles and detaining 12 activists on suspicion of mass rioting charges; they were all remanded to pretrial custody by a court. Bulatov was not among those detained.

One of the AutoMaidan activists who spoke with Human Rights Watch said the activists, including Bulatov, had been receiving SMS threats for weeks, including messages such as “Do you want do die?” The other activist said that in recent weeks police wanted to question Bulatov as a witness to mass rioting.

Police had summoned Bulatov twice for questioning in connection with AutoMaidan activities. In December 2013, they wanted to question him regarding clashes on December 1, when AutoMaidan organized a motorists’ rally in the area where many government buildings are located. They changed their minds several days later, when an amnesty law entered into force that covered protest-related actions.

On January 14, 2014, police questioned Bulatov as a witness to a protest that had taken place on January 10 and also about the December 1, 2013 clashes. No charges were pressed against him.

In a separate incident, on January 23, 2014, police detained Oleksandra Khailak, a 22-year-old female student who had been working in the protest movement’s volunteer medical service, at Kiev’s train station as she was headed home. According to the coordinator of the volunteer medical service, Oleg Musiy, police asked her to show her identity documents, and when she did, her National Resistance Headquarters’ medical service pass fell out.

According to Musiy, police said, “Aha, you worked on Maidan?” and called for more police. They twisted her arms behind her back, put her in a civilian car, and took her to three different police stations, where no officials wanted to book her. They also confiscated her personal belongings, including her asthma inhaler. At one point the woman had an asthma attack, prompting the police to take her to a hospital.

Musiy told Human Rights Watch police eventually drove the woman to a forest outside Kiev, and left her there. They did not return her purse, identity documents, train ticket, and money, saying “You can go look for it at police stations.” After an hour of wandering in the area she was eventually able to find help.

“When police grab an activist and dump her in a forest, it adds to our fears that they might have done the same with Bulatov,” Gorbunova said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Breaking: Israel Shelling Beit Hanoun Hospital

The Israeli military have started to shell and shoot at Beit Hanoun hospital. There are still 61 medical staff and civilians, three patients and two International Solidarity Movement volunteers trapped inside. More>>

UN: Urgent Action To End Female Genital Mutilation UN: Urgent Action To End Female Genital Mutilation

New UN data shows need for urgent action to end female genital mutilation, child marriage More>>

World News: SRI LANKA: Justice Denied To Two Child Victims Of Rape
There have been reports of an alleged abduction and rape of an eleven-year-old girl by a group of Navy officers, and of another nine-year-old girl treated in a similar manner. More>>

‘Global Epidemic’ Of Anti-Semitism NGO Urges UN To Condemn ‘global Epidemic’ Of Anti-Semitism

French riot police officers face rioters in Sarcelles, a suburb north of Paris, on July 20, 2014. More>>


IDF Falsifies Photograph To Justify Bombing El-Wafa Hospital IDF Falsifies Photograph To Justify Bombing El-Wafa Hospital

On the 21st July at 2:17 PM, the IDF spokesperson released an image on twitter showing an aerial picture of a building marked as ‘Al-Wafa’ hospital. In the image there is a red circle, which they designated as the location from which a M75 rocket was ... More>>

MH17: Black Boxes Recovered by Malaysian Government

'Following the agreement Prime Minister Najib Razak brokered with rebel leaders, Malaysia has taken custody of flight MH17's black boxes. As the Prime Minister said, they will be passed to the international investigation team for analysis. More>>

ALSO:


Gaza Update On 15th Day Of The Israeli Offensive

Dozens of Palestinian Civilians Killed or Wounded as Israeli Forces Attack Apartment Buildings, Mosques, Hospitals and Schools; White Phosphorous Bombs and Flechette Shells Fired by Israeli Forces in Border Areas... More>>

Al Jazeera: Egypt Verdict Defies Logic And Any Semblance Of Justice

Following today’s verdict in Cairo, Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said: “Today three colleagues and friends were sentenced, and will continue behind bars for doing a brilliant job of being great journalists. More>>


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news