"In the cases Shmorgunov and others against Ukraine, Lutsenko and Verbytsky against Ukraine, Kadura and Smaliy against Ukraine, Dubovtsev and others against Ukraine and Vorontsov and others against Ukraine, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been multiple violations of the European Convention on Human Rights, in particular in the right to life and the prohibition of torture," the ECHR said in a statement on the website, published on Thursday.
As noted, these cases concerned protests in Ukraine between November 2013 and February 2014, known as "Euromaidan" or "Maidan," which led to the ousting of the President of Ukraine and a series of political and constitutional changes.
"The 38 applicants had all had encounters with the police or non-state agents under police control (titushky). They alleged, among other things, police brutality, a denial of their right to protest, unjustified detention and even in one case death," the court said in the statement.
A press release distributed by the ECHR indicates that in the decisions of the Chamber in these cases, the ECHR ruled unanimously that there were a number of violations of Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights, a number of violations of Article 5, clauses 1 and 3 (right to liberty and security), a number of violations of Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association), a violation of Article 2 (right to life), and violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life).
"The court found, in particular, that the authorities had used ill-treatment deliberately and that the state had been responsible for the murder of one protester. It noted that many of the detention orders had been arbitrary. It considered that the authorities had deliberately tried to disrupt initially peaceful protests, using excessive violence and unlawful detentions to achieve that," the ECHR said in the press release.
Overall, it noted that the abuses found appeared to have been a strategy on the part of the authorities. It also found that the investigations into the events had in many instances been ineffective.
The findings state that the Court noted that it had found a number of violations of several articles of the Convention due to the manner in which the authorities behaved during the Maidan protests and the absence to date of an independent and effective mechanism f within Ukraine for the investigation of crimes committed by law enforcement officers and non-state agents.
"These judgments pointed to a deliberate strategy on the part of the authorities to hinder and put an end to a protest, the conduct of which was initially peaceful, with rapid recourse to excessive force which resulted in, if not contributed to, an escalation of violence," the ECHR said.
The court held that Ukraine was to pay some of the applicants the awards in respect of pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage and costs and expenses set out in the relevant judgments.