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    Ukraine Fails to Probe Torture by Security Forces, Riots in Odessa - State Dept.

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    The US Department of State pointed out Kiev's failure to investigate abuses by security forces during the Maidan turmoil and in the city of Odessa.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Ukrainian government did not take proper steps to investigate abuses committed by national security forces or prosecute those responsible for mass riots in Odessa and the Euromaidan shootings in Kiev, the US State Department said in its 2016 human rights report released on Friday.

    "Human rights groups and the United Nations noted significant deficiencies in investigations into human rights abuses committed by government security forces, in particular into allegations of torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, and other abuses reportedly perpetrated by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU)," the report stated.

    Furthermore, the perpetrators of the 2014 Euromaidan shootings in Kiev and riots in Odessa have not been held to account, the State Department said.

    Despite lawsuits against several SBU members, cases frequently remain under investigation without a trial or temporary suspension of charges.

    Security forces used excessive force to stop demonstrations, but failed to protect victims from violence during protests, the report claimed.

    During one protest near the Odessa City Council, a group attacked demonstrators with fire extinguishers and tear gas while local police watched.

    According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ukrainian authorities opened 133 criminal cases during the first three quarters of 2016 against law enforcement officers accused of torture, illegal arrests and confiscation of property.

    The investigations resulted in disciplinary actions against 20 officers and another 10 were fired.

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    Tags:
    human rights, Maidan, SBU, U.S. Department of State, Odessa, Kiev, United States, Ukraine
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