08:14 GMT15 April 2021
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    Several suspects in the court case on the May 2014 massacre in Ukraine's Odessa have announced a “dry” hunger strike with no water, a suspect’s lawyer Valentin Rybin told Sputnik on Friday.

    KIEV (Sputnik) — Last month, the Odessa city court extended the detainment of five suspects in the case of the Odessa massacre tragedy.

    “Starting today, five people have announced a dry hunger strike because the prosecutor’s office is sabotaging judicial debates. Yesterday, the prosecutor's office disrupted the hearing after one prosecutor just ran away from it, saying that she was feeling sick,” Rybin said.

    The court had asked the prosecutor general's office to ensure the appearance of prosecutors at Friday's hearing, but the latter failed to show up, the lawyer added.

    On May 2, 2014, radical supporters of the new government in Kiev hunted anti-government protesters into Odessa's House of Trade Unions and set the building ablaze. The tragedy claimed some 50 lives and over 250 people sustained injuries. Several lawsuits over the massacre in Odessa, including riots, murders, negligence of police and firefighters, have been considered in court since November 2014.

    The trial has been dragging out for years and came under the criticism of international human rights organizations for lack of progress. In June, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that Ukrainian authorities ignore their appeals to investigate the massacre and expressed concern over the stalled trial.


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