AI calls on Ukraine to investigate use of force against demonstrators near Rada on March 3

Amnesty International (AI) has called on the Ukrainian leadership to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into events during the destruction of a tent camp near the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, early on March 3, 2018.

In a statement posted on Amnesty International Ukraine's website on Tuesday, the organization calls on Ukraine "to assess the proportionality of the use of force against armed demonstrators and investigate reports of excessive, indiscriminate and arbitrary use of force against peaceful demonstrators and journalists by employees of the National Police and the National Guard."

The organization recalls that clashes broke out between police officers and protesters during investigative actions in the tent camp near the Verkhovna Rada on March 3. As a result, more than a hundred people were detained, and at least 19 people sustained head injuries due to police actions.

"Any use of force against peaceful demonstrators and journalists, as well as disproportionate use of force against armed demonstrators, is unacceptable," reads the statement.

Amnesty International drew attention to the fact that several journalists had complained about obstruction of their professional activities and use of force against them.

"In particular, tear gas was used against journalist Serhiy Nuzhnenko when he was filming the actions of the police outside the Verkhovna Rada. A police officer came up to Serhiy Nuzhnenko from behind his back and sprayed the contents of the tear gas canister into his face. As a result, the journalist sustained eye injury. Another journalist, Bohdan Kutepov, reported that a police officer had hit him in his leg and prevented him from performing his professional duties by leading him out of the perimeter of the tent camp," the organization said.

"We urge the leadership of the state to react to the situation without delay," Amnesty International said.