Ukraine issues arrest warrant for ousted president
Ukraine's acting interior minister Arsen Avakhov on Feb. 24 said on his official Facebook page that an arrest warrant has been issued for the country's fugitive president, Viktor Yanukovich, for the mass killings of civilian anti-government protestors. In his statement, Avakhov said that an official case had been opened for the mass murder of peaceful citizens and that Yanukovich and other officials had been declared wanted, going on to say that Yanukovich was last seen in the Crimean peninsula before dismissing much of his security detail and going to an unknown location. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev expressed doubts about the legitimacy of Ukraine's new leaders and accused them of coming to power as a result of armed mutiny. A vast majority of Ukraine's elected parliament voted for the new government, including members of Yanukovich's party, and acting President Oleksandr Turchinov has said that a new coalition government may be formed later this week.
The Ukrainian parliament on Feb. 22 voted to remove Yanukovich from office following a statement from the president that he would not be resigning despite current escalating violence. Ongoing protests in Kiev have continued for more than two months, prompting reactions from all sides of the conflict. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay last week called for a peaceful resolution. Earlier in February leaders of Ukraine's anti-government protests pressed Yanukovich for further concessions, including a return to the earlier constitution that would limit presidential powers, and a revival of the EU free trade agreement. In January the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called for an investigation into torture allegations against Ukraine following widespread arrests of protesters. The statement came the day after Yanukovich offered amnesty to protesters who were arrested and agree to meet certain conditions.
From Jurist, Feb. 24. Used with permission.