Prominent Ukrainian human rights activist dies of heart failure

Groysman_eajcUkrainian Human Rights activist Dmytro Groysman died of a heart failure on August 5, 2013 at the age of 41. Unexpected acquittal was announced posthumously in a trial against him.

On August 12, 2013, a court ruling was delivered in Dmytro Groysman’s case after he died of a heart failure on August 5, 2013 in Kyiv. After 74 court hearings in the trial against Groysman, he was posthumously declared innocent on the ground that his guilt could not be proven. More than 300 Human Rights activists from Ukraine signed a petition to the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on the eve of the final court hearing, with a demand to declare Groysman innocent and investigate all trial irregularities (1).  Dmytro Groysman was a prominent Ukrainian Human Rights defender who focused in particular on police torture and the situation with refugees and asylum- seekers in Ukraine. Groysman’s investigations continuously exposed local police involvement in crimes such as prostitution. In 2010 a criminal investigation against him has been launched (2) into alleged on-line distribution of pornography. Groysman died only a day before the final court hearing took place. In his last words Groysman spoke about illegal activities of the police, “false witnesses” and “fake experts” (3).

With Dmytro Groysman’s death, Ukrainian civil society has lost one of its most outstanding leaders. His lawyer, Nataliya Gurkovska, told the court on Monday that the criminal investigation aimed at “forcing Groysman to leave Human Rights activism behind, which was finally attained”. She added that the Vinnytsya Human Rights Group, founded by Groysman, will nevertheless continue its work.

Source: PRAVO. Berlin Group for Human Rights in Ukraine, Contact:

(1) Petition to the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office (in Ukrainian)
(2) Protests against the conviction of Dmytro Groysman (in German)
(3) Last words of Dmytro Groysman that were read out to the court after his death (in Ukrainian)

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