Ukrainian Protestor Beaten and 'Crucified' by Unknown Assailants

by TarikA on Février 2, 2014 - 4:11pm

The plight for democracy in Ukraine took an ugly turn Friday when it was reported that Ukrainian activist, Dmytro Bulatov, was found “bruised” and violently beaten just outside of Kiev, more than a week after having been reported missing, according to an article published on the Guardian’s website by Oksana Grytsenko and Shaun Walker titled “ Ukrainian protestor says he was kidnapped and tortured.”

Bulatov, who is the leader of the popular Automaidan opposition group in Kiev, was found Thursday evening severely beaten, reporting that he had been subjected to a weeklong torture regiment at the hands of unknown men, who were said to have spoken only Russian. The activist says that he was “nailed to a cross” by his assailants and that they had also cut off a piece of his ear and slashed his face with a knife. As Bulatov put it: “…there isn’t a spot on my body that hasn’t been beaten.”

Bulatov’s Automaidan group, of whom he is the co-leader, is at the vanguard of the protests that have erupted in Ukraine along the last few weeks. Composed of car owners, the group has helped block police and troop movements with their vehicles, all in the hope of slowing down resistance from Viktor Yanukovych’s government. The kidnapping and torturing of Bulatov has raised suspicion as to whether or not this effort had been calculated attempt by the government to put pressure on opposition groups.

That being said, the situation in Ukraine is growing more and more dangerous. Forced disappearances seem to be slowly growing in frequency, with Bulatov’s case already the second. Human rights watchdogs have started to express a great deal of concern over the mistreatment of activists (and even journalists) in the country by security forces. Though the conflict in Ukraine may be of a national interest, it should be said that the perversion of democracy and civil rights is something that should not be tolerable for anyone who bears witness to it. The situation in Ukraine needs to be publicized and scrutiny should be placed upon those who are purveyors of violence -- whether they are part of the government’s security forces or violent opposition groups. 

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