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Who killed Pavlo Scheremet? Ukraine’s civil society demands the answers

Media and human rights organisations, including the Open Dialog Foundation, have issued a joint statement, demanding from law enforcement officers, a public report on the investigation into the assassination of Pavel Sheremet.

“Today, i.e. on 20 July 2018, marks two years from the day when journalist Pavel Sheremet was assassinated. The news of his death shocked many in Ukraine and beyond, and, two years later, the shock hasn’t worn off.

We still do not know why Pavel was killed. We do not know who was the mastermind behind this assassination, in which country he lives, who was the perpetrator, and what caused this terrible terrorist attack. It was, indeed, a terrorist attack, as the assassination of a journalist is always directed not only against him himself; but it is also an act of intimidation of his colleagues and society as a whole. This is a telltale sign to all of us.

President Poroshenko labelled the investigation into the murder of Sheremet ‘a matter of honour’. Still, two years later, the course of the investigation remains confidential. Pavel’s family members, his colleagues, and the society aren’t aware as to whether there are any suspects in the investigation or whether there are any lines of investigation. There was no reward offered for helping to uncover the crime, as was the case following the murder of a journalist in Slovakia. Over these two years, none of the senior management of the investigation was dismissed due to a lack of results.

In Ukraine, there is a terrible example of an investigation into the murder of another journalist, Georgiy Gongadze. And although, eventually, the performers have been subjected to punishment, the masterminds behind the assassination are yet to be named. We do not want Pavel’s colleagues, family members and Ukrainian society as a whole to wait many more years to see the punishment of the killers and the masterminds behind this crime.

We demand justice for Pavel Sheremet. We demand a public report from law enforcement agencies, namely: the National Police, the Security Service of Ukraine and the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine, regarding the course of investigation into the assassination of Pavel Sheremet. We demand specific actions, rather than repeated statements about the need for investigation. Otherwise, the ‘matter of honour’ will become a huge shame for all the Ukrainian authorities and the country as a whole.

The statement has been signed by:

NGO ‘Detector Media’
Institute of Mass Information
Human Rights Information Center
NGO ‘Cross Media’ (‘Zaborona’ edition)
The Ukraine Commission on Journalism Ethics
Independent Media Council
Center for Civil Liberties
Center for Democracy and Rule of Law
Crimean Human Rights Group
Non-governmental association ‘Educational Human Rights House in Chernihiv’
NGO ‘Human Rights Platform’
NGO ‘Truth Hounds’
NGO ‘Ukraine Needs You’
NGO ‘Human rights radio’
NGO ‘Human rights TV’
Kharkiv Regional Foundation ‘Hromadska Alternativa’
NGO Crimean Tatar Resource Center
NGO ‘Laboratory of Digital Security’
Ukraine’s National Union of Journalists.
NGO ‘People’s Defence’
Ukrainian Human Rights Institute
Pylyp Orlyk Institute of Democracy
NGO ‘Donetsk Institute of Information’ (the ‘Donbas News’ edition)
NGO ‘’Kharkiv Human Rights Group’
Project ‘Without Borders’
Open Dialog Foundation
NGO Center for Law Enforcement Studies
NGO ‘Kryvyi Rig City Human Rights Association’
‘There is an Enlightment Beam’ Newspaper (the city of Kryvyi Rig)
Kherson Regional Organization – Voters of Ukraine Committee