Amnesty International urges UN to send a mission to Ukraine due to reported torture
10:36 / 25 May. 2015 / 1055
Amnesty International calls upon the UN to urgently send a mission of experts to Ukraine to visit all confinement facilities holding prisoners of the conflict in the east.
This is stated in the report of the international organization regarding torture in the east of Ukraine, presented in Kiev by director of Amnesty International for Europe and Central Asia Denis Krivosheev.
“Amnesty International calls upon the relevant United Nations institutions and experts to send an urgent mission to Ukraine to visit all the facilities holding prisoners in connection with the conflict, including unofficial places of detention” – as quoted by “Interfax-Ukraine”.
The report of the organization claims that: “Among such institutions should be: the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and Enforced Disappearances and the Special Rapporteur on Torture”.
While presenting the report at a press briefing, Krivosheev urged the official Kiev to investigate all reports of alleged torture by the forces of the ATO (anti-terrorist operation).
“I want to hear the position of Ukraine on the complete prohibition of torture. However, our main demand is to investigate all allegations of torture … There are reports of torture by the forces subordinated to Kiev. All this has to be verified,” – the representative of Amnesty International declared.
Krivosheev also called on Ukrainian authorities to take all measures to investigate the information about the facts of ill-treatment that took place in the territories uncontrolled by Kiev.
As Krivosheev said, “Numerous reports of torture come from the parties to the conflict, and they are very difficult to verify … Torture is used by various groups involved in the conflict, including regular and irregular units”.
“There are many facts of abusive treatment on the part of battalions “Sparta”, “Ghost”, a couple of such cases are known on the part of pro-Ukrainian forces, in particular, “Right Sector”. “Moreover”, he said, “we have information from the source on one case of cruelty, beatings and illegal detention of people on Right Sector’s base”.
According to Amnesty International, there are incidents of abuse even on the part of the Security Service of Ukraine. “Mostly torture and ill-treatment is taking place outside detention facilities. That is, a person is tortured, and then, after his transfer to a place of detention, such as jail, they start to treat him better” – Krivosheev claims.
Amnesty International’s researcher on Ukraine Krasimir Yankov explained that the report was based on interviews with 33 people who had been imprisoned from July 2014 to April 2015.
“17 of them were imprisoned by the separatists, 16 – by pro-Ukrainian authorities. 32 of the 33 described beatings and other serious violations … victims have described beatings with breakage of bones, torture by electric shock, suspension from the ceiling, the denial of access to a doctor, staged executions”, – he said.
Yankov added, that Amnesty International has also documented three cases of execution without trial by militants. He described “…the event on January 22 in the village of Krasny Partisan, where the 20th defense road block is situated. Separatists attacked and captured 11 soldiers. They were interrogated, and we found witnesses of that interrogation … One witness saw at least one chevron of “Vostok” battalion on the attackers. One girl with a sniper rifle shot the prisoners on the legs and lungs”… “At least three soldiers died. One of them was shot because he replied to the question “Why do you fight?” by saying: “I was fighting for Ukraine”. He was shot”.
Krivosheev urged the parties to the conflict to renounce the use of torture and ill-treatment of captives and to respect international law.
He accentuated: “Torture and ill-treatment is a war crime. People must incur responsibility for these specific actions, whatever the side they may be on in the conflict”.
As is known, the Security Service of Ukraine has stated before that it does not hold captives, and only applies legal measures to persons detained on suspicion of committing offenses. The department is willing to investigate each case mentioned in the report.
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