MH17 survivors call on Russia to "stop playing games" with investigation
A group of relatives of MH17 victims gathered in front of the Russian embassy in The Hague on Sunday for a silent protest. "Stop playing games. Be a nation as proud and worthy as your people", the group wrote in a message to Russia. They accuse the country of hindering the investigation focussed on finding the truth, RTL Nieuws reports.
The relatives took a remembrance bench to the protest. A metal plate attached to the bench states in Russian: "Humanity over politics", according to the broadcaster.
"Not finding out what happened is unacceptable", the relatives wrote to Russia. "Clarity is needed to give family members the chance to process. Stop playing games. Be a nation as proud and worthy as your people. We will wait. For all innocent lives taken in this brutal manner. For humanity."
Today is the three year anniversary of the MH17 disaster. On July 17th, 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine. All 298 people on board the Boeing 777 were killed, including 196 Dutch. The National Monument for the victims in Vijfhuizen Park, next to Schiphol, will be unveiled at the memorial service on Monday afternoon.
The criminal investigation into the disaster is still ongoing. So far the Joint Investigation Team determined that the plane was shot down with a Russian BUK missile system, fired from a field in Ukraine that was under the control of pro-Russian separatists. The investigators have a group of people suspected of involvement, but so far no one was charged.
A week and a half ago, the Dutch government announced that the MH17 perpetrators will be tried in the Netherlands, under Dutch law.
According to RTL Nieuws, it is very unlikely that suspects from Russia or the Ukraine will be extradited to the Netherlands to stand trial. The constitution of those two countries prohibits the extradition of nationals.
Een kleine groep MH17 nabestaanden zal zo een uur lang, zwijgend, plaats nemen tegen over de Russische ambassade. pic.twitter.com/mYdHRarGQ6
— Jildou van Opzeeland (@Jilnow) July 16, 2017
— Elsschot 🇪🇺🇳🇱🤜🤛🏽Houd 1,5 mtr afstand! (@marcelbar8) July 16, 2017
— Adriaan Hofstra ♻🕯 © Houd 1,5 m afstand 😷 (@adhofstra) July 16, 2017
Stil protest in Den Haag door nabestaanden van de slachtoffers van de MH17 ramp. Bij de Russische ambassade pic.twitter.com/f3zgMI8tuQ
— paulinebroekema (@paulinebroekema) July 16, 2017