UN human rights experts present evidence of war crimes in Ukraine

UN human rights experts present evidence of war crimes in Ukraine

GENEVA (AP) — A team of experts commissioned by the top UN human rights body to investigate human rights violations in Ukraine said on Friday its initial investigation turned up evidence of war crimes in the country following Russia’s invasion nearly seven months ago. .

Experts from the Commission of Inquiry into Ukraine, commissioned by the Human Rights Council earlier this year, have so far focused on four regions: Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy.

Presenting their most extensive findings yet, they cited testimonies from former detainees about beatings, electric shocks and forced nudity in Russian detention centers, and expressed grave concern about executions in all four regions.

“We were struck by the large number of executions in the areas we visited. The commission is currently investigating such deaths in 16 towns and settlements,” Erik Mose, the commission’s chairman, told the council. He did not specify who or what party to the war allegedly carried out the killings.

Mose said his team had received and was documenting “credible allegations of many more execution cases.” During a 10-day trip to Ukraine in June, the team visited Bucha, a town on the outskirts of Kyiv where Ukrainian authorities found mass graves and bodies strewn in the streets after Russian forces withdrew in late March.

The findings echo media and other reports of destruction, death and despair in Ukraine since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion on February 24.

The commission’s work could ultimately contribute to the work of ICC prosecutors who could pursue war crimes charges in Ukraine, though it remains uncertain whether Russia or other alleged perpetrators will ever face justice.

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Anton Korynevych, Ambassador General of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, joined envoys from several Western countries who spoke out against Moscow’s war following the commission’s presentation. The Russian delegation boycotted the council meeting.

Korynevych, speaking by video, called for the creation of a special court that would have jurisdiction “over the crime of aggression against Ukraine” and investigate high-ranking Russian political and military leaders who were allegedly responsible.

He said accountability was crucial for the rights violations and atrocities linked to Russia’s “aggression”, but also highlighted how the war’s effects “swept across the globe and” put numerous countries on the brink of of hunger, exacerbated extreme poverty, created the threat of a never-before-seen nuclear catastrophe” and damaged the livelihoods of millions of people around the world.

Investigators from the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine visited 27 towns and settlements, as well as graves and detention and torture centers; interviewed more than 150 victims and witnesses; and met with advocacy groups and government officials, Mose said.

“Based on the evidence gathered by the commission, it has concluded that war crimes have been committed in Ukraine,” he said.

He said the team had examined two incidents of ill-treatment of Russian soldiers by Ukrainian forces.

Mose said an unspecified number of Russian soldiers were found to have committed crimes of sexual or gender-based violence, with victims ranging in age from 4 to 82.

The commission plans to gradually expand its investigation, with areas of interest including allegations of filtration camps for detained or deported people, the forcible transfer of people and allegations of expedited adoption of children.

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“The evidence of Russia’s atrocities grows more terrifying every day, most recently with the discovery of mass graves in Izium, where bodies show signs of torture,” said Michele Taylor, US ambassador to the Human Rights Council, referring to a city in the Kharkiv region that Ukrainian forces recaptured in recent weeks.

Taylor urged commissioners to continue “examining the mounting evidence of Russia’s leak operations, forced deportations, and disappearances.”

He referred to “numerous sources” that Russian authorities have interrogated, detained and/or forcibly deported between 900,000 and 1.6 million Ukrainian citizens, and reports that children were being deported from Ukraine and placed in orphanages. Russians for adoption.

German Ambassador Katharina Stasch added: “Make no mistake, we will hold accountable those responsible for these crimes.”

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Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Source : ksltv.com

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About the Author: Pierre Cohen

A person who has expertise in politics and writes articles to fill his spare time as a hobby.