On October 13 in Kharkiv the Chairman of Chuhuiv human rights group, the Deputy of the Chuhuiv City Council, lawyer Roman Likhachev was beaten. The victim explained the attack with the anti-corruption activities, told about the police inaction and threats against his life. Human rights activists responded to the incident.
The daring attack against Roman Likhachev was reported about on the Facebook of the head of Advocacy Center of UHHRU Boris Zakharov.
"Yesterday there was an attack against our colleague, Roman Likhachev. He was beaten and it is directly connected with his legal, human rights and anti-corruption activities. According to our data, the police were inactive. We demand an objective and effective investigation of this crime," wrote the human rights activist.
The details of the beating
The attack took place in the Kharkiv regional institute of public administration of the National Academy of Public Administration under the President of Ukraine, right after the session "Combating corruption in the Kharkiv region". According to the victim’s sister Margarita Lihacheva, the same day he went to the hospital and was examined.
The next day, Likhachev commented on the events on social media. He called the attack a pre-planned action.
"Several times I was warned to cease participating in the defense of individuals in several high-profile trials, and not so long ago we have been actively involved in the fight against corruption. I associate the attack against me with several known trials that I conduct as a lawyer, Chairman of the Chuhuiv human rights group and the network of anti-corruption centers", wrote Roman in his post.
Lawyer Likhachev also believes that the attack was linked to the recent press conference and the announcement of the results of the fight against corruption. It deals with the event in Kharkiv on October 10, where representatives of the Chuhuiv human rights group and the Network of anticorruption centers reported about how deputies of the village council voted for the allocation of land and resources for themselves.
Human rights defenders with the support of UN are implementing the project "The Public against corruption" aimed at financial control and reporting by officers, in particular, the control over submission of income statements. Activists analyzed the registry of judicial decisions and plan to bring officials to justice. According to them, conflict of interests in the land sector and on issues of bonus is associated with 42% of corruption cases, according to Nakipelo.ua.
Press conference in Kharkiv, 10 Oct 2016. Photo: nakipelo.ua
The reaction of human rights community
The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union responded to incident on October 14. The organization's representatives voiced their position on the official website and appealed to sign a statement demanding a comprehensive and objective investigation.
"Human rights organizations are deeply concerned about the attack against the human rights activist Raman Likhachev. Helsinki Union for human rights is deeply concerned by the fact that in Ukraine there are acts of violence against human rights defenders. The police passively reacted to the crime. The attackers were not detained, and the crime report was adopted with delay. We demand objective and comprehensive investigation of this case".
You can sign the statement here.
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