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  • Following her attack, Kateryna Handzyuk told local media,

    Following her attack, Kateryna Handzyuk told local media, "“Yes, I know that I look bad now. But I’m sure that I look much better than law and justice in Ukraine." | Photo: Twitter: Christopher Miller

Published 4 November 2018
Opinion

An unknown assailant attacked the activist outside her home on July 31 allegedly due to her criticism of police corruption.

Ukrainian Kateryna Handzyuk, 33, the victim of a July acid attack passed away Sunday after fighting for months after suffering burns to an eye and 40 percent of her body.

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After undergoing 11 operations in the capital city, Kiev, Handzyuk is believed to have died from a blood clot, local media outlets suggest.

An unknown assailant attacked the activist outside her home in Kherson on July 31 allegedly due to her harsh criticism of police corruption and calls for fellow Ukrainians to act.

From her hospital bed, Handzyuk denounced the crime as a murder attempt and vowed to bring her attacker to court: Why do I consider it to be an assassination attempt? Because the acid was poured on my head.

“If someone wanted to warn or silence me, they could have targeted my arms, legs, or face -- anywhere. But they poured a liter of acid on my head,” she said.

“Yes, I know that I look bad now. But I’m sure that I look much better than law and justice in Ukraine. Because they aren’t treated by anyone,” she told Hromadske TV.

Handzyuk’s death has triggered outrage across social media outlets as well as a renewed call for a special investigative committee from Ukrainian legislator, Olena Sotnyk. The activist is one of 55 victims in unsolved cases of attacks since 2017, according to reports from both local and international civil society groups. Currently, a group of five people, all former fighters of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army, an offshoot of the nationalist Right Sector group are considered suspects.

Form his personal account, EU commissioner Johannes Hahn tweeted, "Attacks against civil society activists are unacceptable. The perpetrators of this vicious crime must be brought to justice.”

Five suspects are in custody and President Petro Poroshenko said on Sunday he will do everything in his power to ensure law enforcement agencies see her killer is brought to justice.

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