The Committee to Protect Journalists offers the following recommendations:
To the Ukrainian authorities
To President Petro Poroshenko
- Commit sufficient resources of your office to bringing the perpetrators of Pavel Sheremet’s murder, including the masterminds of the crime, to justice. Demand regular progress reports on the investigation and instruct the responsible agencies to make those reports public.
- Consider inviting an independent international inquiry in Pavel Sheremet’s killing to ensure that every motive is thoroughly examined and that justice is achieved.
- Unequivocally condemn and order investigations into all threats and acts of violence against journalists in Ukraine. Publicly state your recognition of the importance a critical, independent press plays in Ukrainian society. Condemn the practice of dividing journalists into patriotic and unpatriotic.
- Hold public officials accountable for encouraging or failing to investigate anti-press actions.
To the agencies investigating Pavel Sheremet’s murder, including Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office, Security Services (SBU), Interior Ministry, and National Police
● Investigate Sheremet’s journalistic work in Ukraine as a potential motive for his murder.
● Allow Sheremet’s family and their legal representatives access to the investigation’s files into Sheremet’s murder.
● Reinvigorate the investigation into Sheremet’s killing by pursuing unchecked leads, questioning witnesses who have not yet spoken with investigators, interviewing Sheremet’s colleagues, and analyzing his journalistic work. Track down and detain potential suspects and substantively follow up on the findings of any parallel, independent investigations into the slaying.
● Eliminate the potential for investigative bias by assigning independent professionals to carry out the probe.
● Require regular, substantive progress reports on the investigation into Sheremet’s murder and convey those reports to the public. Communicate regularly with the media and promptly respond to interview requests in relation to the murder investigation.
TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
To the Russian government
● Cooperate fully with the investigation into the murder of Sheremet and facilitate access for the Ukrainian investigating officials to pursue any and all relevant leads to the case in Russia.
To the Belarusian government
● Cooperate fully with Ukraine’s investigation into the murder of Sheremet and facilitate access for the investigating officials to pursue any and all relevant leads to the case in Belarus.
● Posthumously restore Sheremet’s Belarusian citizenship.
To the European Union
● Mark the first anniversary of Sheremet’s murder with a firm statement calling on the Ukrainian authorities to swiftly bring all the perpetrators, including the mastermind, to justice.
● Raise the case of Sheremet with the Ukrainian authorities in bilateral discussions until a full investigation into his murder has been undertaken. This should be a benchmark for measuring progress of ongoing reforms financed by the EU, including in the areas of justice and the rule of law, anti-corruption and the strengthening of Ukraine’s media.
● Ensure the EU Delegation and diplomatic missions of EU Member States in Kiev support and protect all Ukrainian journalists at risk, follow all cases of impunity for murdered journalists, and maintain communication with families of murdered journalists as they push for justice.
To the Council of Europe leaders:
● Scrutinize, including through the Platform to Promote the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists, Ukraine’s impunity record in crimes against journalists, and hold Ukraine accountable for responding to alerts in a meaningful way.
● Ensure the Commissioner for Human Rights uses every opportunity to raise the issue of impunity in Sheremet’s murder in public meetings in Ukraine, and assists Ukrainian authorities in enhancing media rights and legal institutions tasked with addressing impunity in crimes against the press.