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UKRAINE: Killing of lawyer Iryna Nozdrovska


The International Observatory for Lawyers in Danger (OIAD) is deeply shocked by the killing of the Ukrainian attorney Iryna Nozdrovska who was campaigning for the defense of Human rights and was working on sensitive issues.

The body of the 38 years old lawyer was found on Monday, January 1st 2018, in a river near Kiev, while the activist was still missing for several days.

Iryna Nozdrovska devoted the last two years to preventing the release of the man who fatally injured her sister in a car accident while under the influence of drugs and alcohol in 2015. Sentenced to seven years in prison in June, Dmytro Rossochansky, nephew of a judge, had strong chances of being pardoned and released, up until the dismissal of his appeal by the Kiev Appellate Court on Wednesday, December 27th, 2017. According to the Ukrainian group for Human Rights protection of Kharkiv (KHGP), this appeal dismissal was obtained thanks to the personal implication of Iryna Nozdrovska, who decided to dedicate her energy on her younger sister’s case.


Nozdrovska allegedly received threats from the accused and his family on several occasions during the trial and most recently during the December 27th 2017 hearing. Several sources report that the father of the hit-and-run driver told her, as they came out of the tribunal: “you’re heading for trouble”. The lawyer went missing the following day.

The OIAD wishes to express its sincere condolences to Iryna Nozdrovska’s family.

The OIAD calls on the Ukrainian authorities to respect the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, adopted by the United Nations in Havana, Cuba, in 1990, which provides that:

Where the security of lawyers is threatened as a result of discharging their functions, they shall be adequately safeguarded by the authorities” (Principle 17).

The Observatory calls on the Ukrainian authorities to make every effort in arresting and prosecuting the author of this horrid crime.