Ukrainian journalist Pavel Sheremet was murdered on 20 July 2016. On the second anniversary of his death, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) believes that the investigation into his assassination failed to look properly into who committed and commissioned the crime.
“Two years after his assassination, we should consider the journalist’s murder as an impunity case. That is why the European Federation of Journalists asked the Council of Europe platform for the protection of journalism to change the status of the alert on Pavel Sheremet’s killing to the category of “impunity”. Ukraine will become one of the worst European States when it comes to carry out effective investigations following journalists’ killing or disappearance.”
Pavel Sheremet was a well-known journalist in Belarus and Ukraine, leading TV news programmes and working as a special correspondent. He initiated the creation of independent analytical and news website Belaruski Partyzan, which has been blocked in Belarus since last year. Since 2012, the journalist was working in Ukraine, newspaper Ukrainskaya Pravda and Radio Vesti. He died on its way to the radio’s office to host his morning show when the car he was driving exploded shortly after it started.
The attack was condemned by Ukrainian officials, who promised to find those responsible for Sheremet’s death. The authorities affirmed that the crime was related to the journalist’s professional work. But nobody has been arrested, drawing criticism that the authorities are not putting enough efforts for investigation. The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) affirmed ‘lacking evidence’.
Five cases of impunity in Ukraine are still open on the Council of Europe platform for the protection of journalism:
- Georgiy Gongadze, his body was found in October 2000
- Viacheslav Veremii, killed in February 2014
- Andrea Rocchelli, killed in May 2014
- Andrei Mironov, killed in May 2014
- Oleksandr Kuchynsk, killed in November 2014
Eleven other cases of impunity are ongoing in Europe: six happened in Russia; two in Azerbaijan; one in Montenegro; one in Serbia and one in Turkey.
Credit photo: Sergei Supinsky / AFP