Diplomats promise amnesty for Ukraine protesters

[JURIST] Russia, Ukraine, the US and the EU on Thursday issued a joint statement [text] on the situation in Ukraine after a Ukrainian military base was attacked in an act of increasing violence between government troops and pro-Russia militias. The statement promises amnesty "to protesters and to those who have left buildings and other public places and surrendered weapons, with the exception of those found guilty of capital crimes." The Organization of Security and Cooperation Special Monitoring Mission [official website] will play an important part in implementing measures of the agreement. To comply with the agreement, all sides must refrain from violence, disarm and return any building seized over to proper authorities.

The ongoing conflict [BBC timeline] in Ukraine has reinvigorated fears of Cold War Era politics and increased tensions between Russia and the West. Earlier this week the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] issued a report [JURIST report] finding rights violations leading up to and stemming from widespread protests that began last November. Also this week the UN Security Council [official website] convened to address the ongoing violence. The UN General Assembly approved a resolution [JURIST report] in March declaring the Crimean referendum to secede from Ukraine invalid. The resolution calls upon all UN states, international organizations and specialty agencies not to recognize any change in status of the Crimean region despite the referendum [JURIST report]. The EU in February imposed [JURIST report] new sanctions against 11 senior Russian politicians, including Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. The EU imposed the sanctions on the same day Russian President Vladimir Putin finalized legislation making Crimea officially part of Russia.

 

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