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Brother Oleksandr Tretiak

DECEMBER 28, 2020

ECHR Rules in Favor of Brother Oleksandr Tretiak, Beaten for His Faith

ECHR Rules in Favor of Brother Oleksandr Tretiak, Beaten for His Faith

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) released a judgment in the case of Tretiak v. Ukraine in favor of Brother Oleksandr Tretiak on Thursday, December 17, 2020. Brother Tretiak was brutally beaten by three assailants on November 26, 2013, as he was returning home from participating in the ministry. The ECHR ruled that the Ukrainian authorities failed to properly investigate the crime. The Court awarded compensation of 7,500 euros ($9,100 U.S.).

Brother Tretiak was beaten so severely that he had to spend almost one month in the hospital. The police did not inspect the scene of the crime until three months after the attack. They also refused to declare the attack as religiously motivated and did not acknowledge the severity of Brother Tretiak’s injuries. Later, the police lowered the classification of the charge to that of a minor crime. Additionally, they accused only one of the three assailants—but only after he had fled the country. The other two perpetrators, which included a police officer, were considered merely witnesses to the crime. No one was ever punished. These and other clear miscarriages of justice motivated Brother Tretiak to file his case with the ECHR in 2015.

In its decision, the ECHR concluded that “the [Ukrainian] authorities failed to carry out an effective investigation into the ill-treatment suffered by the applicant,” which constitutes a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

We hope that this judgment will help protect the religious rights of our brothers and sisters in Ukraine and other countries. Ultimately, we thank Jehovah, who grants us justice.—Lamentations 3:59.