Виголошена Постійним представником України при міжнародних організаціях у Відні І.Прокопчуком на засіданні Постійної ради ОБСЄ 21 липня 2016 року.
Statement on the murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet
As delivered by the Delegation of Ukraine
to the 1110th meeting of the Permanent Council,
21 July 2016
Shock and pain resonated across the Ukrainian nation when yesterday morning Pavel Sheremet, a prominent journalist with the Ukrainska Pravda online newspaper and Radio Vesti was killed in a car explosion in the center of Kyiv.
The car was reported to belong to Olena Prytula, the founder of the Ukrainska Pravda. She was not in the vehicle at the time of explosion.
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Andriy Parubiy, Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman strongly condemned the murder of Pavel Sheremet.
President Poroshenko convened an extraordinary meeting with the heads of the General Prosecutor’s Office, the National Police and the Security Service of Ukraine and urged the law-enforcement to promptly investigate the crime, drawing also from expertise and support of international partners. He emphasized that the investigation must be swift and transparent, those guilty must be found and punished. The President asked the international partners for help and discussed the involvement of FBI experts having unique methods of examination of explosives. The Head of State also instructed to get in touch with the EU partners and invite their experts to join the investigation.
The founder of the Ukrainska Pravda Olena Prytula was granted personal security by the law-enforcement officers. The President called her and conveyed the deepest condolences over the loss.
The Ukrainian law-enforcement, who were immediately at the scene, launched an investigation into the journalist’s murder. Special interagency task force was established to coordinate the investigation chaired by the head of the National Police of Ukraine Ms. Khatiya Dekanoidze, the most experienced investigators were included in the team.
The Investigation Department of the Main Directorate of the National Police in Kyiv launched a pre-trial investigation in the criminal proceedings under Part 2 (para 5), Article 115 (Premeditated Murder Committed in a Manner Dangerous to the Lives of Many People) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Kyiv Prosecutor's Office is in charge of procedural supervision in the criminal proceedings.
The investigative and operational groups of the National Police in Kyiv immediately launched all necessary investigative activities at the scene of the crime to establish all the circumstances of the murder and identify the witnesses.
According to the preliminary information, Pavel Sheremet was killed as result of explosion of a bomb planted underneath the car. The explosive device was equivalent to 0,4-0,6 kilograms of TNT.
Pavel Sheremet, born in Belarus, during his career worked as a journalist in Belarus, Russia and for the last nearly 5 years in Ukraine.
He was a strong supporter of the Euromaidan, condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and exposed the manipulations of the Russian propaganda about the events in Ukraine. Pavel Sheremet was a friend with many progressive Russian politicians, in particular Boris Nemtsov, killed in Moscow last year.
Mr. Sheremet was well-known as a principled advocate of human rights, freedom of speech and freedom of the press. In 2002 he received the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Prize for Journalism and Democracy, in 1998 he was awarded with the International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Pavel Sheremet’s death is an enormous loss for the Ukrainian people and for journalism.
The Ukrainian authorities will take every effort to bring those responsible for his death to justice.
Strengthening freedom of the media, including the safety of journalists, is a priority for Ukraine. The Ukrainian Government is committed to further safeguard and promote media freedom and protection of journalists in the country in accordance with the relevant OSCE commitments and international standards.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.