Calls for the government and protestors in Ukraine to find a peaceful solutionListen /
The United Nations Human Rights agency is calling for the government and protestors in Ukraine to exercise restraint and to find a negotiated solution to the current wave of protests.
The government’s decision not to sign a deal on closer ties with the European Union last month has sparked weeks of mass rallies. Every day, thousands of Ukrainian protesters have been demonstrating on the streets of the capital Kiev, in a challenge to the government.
Ravina Shamdasani, Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, says that her office is closely following the events in Kiev.
"We are particularly concerned at reports of the use of excessive force by riot police and violent acts by some demonstrators. We call upon the authorities to conduct a thorough, prompt, independent and impartial investigation into all the violent incidents of the past two weeks. Holding perpetrators of human rights violations and violence accountable, regardless of their status, is essential in times of social unrest and would help restore calm."
Ukraine is bound by international conventions that guarantee the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.
Ravina Shamdasani says that the government must take all necessary measures to ensure that human rights safeguards are upheld during arrest and detention of any protestors.
"State authorities must also ensure that detainees are not subjected to torture or any other form of ill-treatment."
And she says that all those who are injured must have prompt access to medical care and that victims should be able to seek redress.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.