Wednesday, June 18, 2014

UN report on Ukraine whitewashes Kiev authorities responsible for Odessa massacre. - Operations are in line with international standards

Authors of the report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) strive to keep covering for the Kiev authorities, which are responsible for the deaths in Odessa, an official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Alexander Lukashevich, states in his commentary in connection with the publication of the OHCHR report on the situation with human rights in Ukraine.

"While covering the tragedy in Odessa on May 2, the authors of the report showed a more objective approach than in the last similar document," the commentary says. "However, we have to admit that the authors still strive to shield the Kiev authorities, their supporters and the law enforcement bodies, which are responsible for the deaths of dozens of innocent people."

The contents of the UN report can be interpreted as an indulgence for escalation of the conflict in Ukraine.

"Special indignation is caused by hypocritical recommendations to the Ukrainian authorities to conduct the anti-terrorist operation "in accordance with the international standards." In fact, this can be interpreted as an indulgence for further massacre of the peaceful population and escalation of the conflict".

"It is strange to hear this from people who call themselves human rights defenders, especially in the light of recent calls by the UN Secretary General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to stop the violence," Lukashevich noted.

The report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights contains no objective assessment of the criminal actions of Kiev, which is conducting military operations against the civilian population, and the deaths of civilians during the punitive operation in the Donbas are overlooked, too.

"There is not a word of condemnation of the actions of the National Guard and mercenary battalions Azov, Dnepr and others, which violate the international humanitarian law," Lukashevich said.

  • New UN report on Ukraine details breakdown in law and order in the east and worrying trends in Crimea

GENEVA (18 June 2014) – The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Wednesday issued a new report on Ukraine that describes the breakdown of law and order in the areas held by armed groups in the east of the country – with increasing evidence of abductions, detentions, torture, and killings – as well as a number of “worrying trends” emerging in Crimea.
High Commissioner Navi Pillay urged the armed groups operating in eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk to “stop taking themselves, and the people living in their regions, down this dead end, which is leading simply to misery, destruction, displacement and economic deprivation.”
“All they have achieved is a climate of insecurity and fear which is having a hugely detrimental impact on many thousands of people,” she said. “The time has come to put down the guns and talk. Peace and reconciliation, and long-term solutions are certainly attainable.”
The 58-page report, covering the period from 7 May to 7 June, is the third to be produced by the 34-strong UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission, since it was deployed by the High Commissioner in March.
While devoting half the report to recent events in the east and Crimea, the Monitoring Mission also outlines the various ongoing investigations and initiatives (five in all) related to human rights violations surrounding the November 2013 - February 2014 Maidan protests. The report also describes the six investigations and commissions established to investigate the tragic events in Odesa on 2 May. In order to ensure confidence in the investigations and guarantee accountability and due process, a number of questions must be answered, the report says. These include identifying who shot at protesters during the afternoon; explaining why the police and the fire brigade were slow to react, or did not react at all; detailing precisely what happened in the Trade Union Building and the cause of the fire; and identifying any perpetrators.
The report states that the Government of Ukraine is continuing to implement the 17 April Geneva Statement, through a number of initiatives and legislative changes, as well as taking the first steps towards the adoption of a constitutional reform package, including the decentralization of power and a special status for the Russian language. Legislative amendments to combat discrimination, corruption, and on the situation of refugees have been adopted; and there have also been developments relating to amnesty, lustration of judges, language rights, internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Crimea, ethnic policy, torture and ill-treatment, the media and the reform of law enforcement agencies.
  • During the reporting period, the human rights situation in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk has continued to deteriorate, the report states, noting the presence of armed people and weapons has increased in both regions, and that “Representatives of the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ have recognised the presence within their armed groups of citizens of the Russian Federation, including from Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus.”
“The escalation in criminal activity resulting in human rights abuses is no longer limited to targeting journalists, elected representatives, local politicians, civil servants and civil society activists,” the report states. “Abductions, detentions, acts of ill-treatment and torture, and killings by armed groups are now affecting the broader population of the two eastern regions, which are now marked by an atmosphere of intimidation and consequent fear.”
As a result, several thousand people have now been displaced from the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. As well as fleeing random violence and deteriorating economic and social conditions, some displaced people interviewed cited “targeted attacks and intimidation of activists, and increasingly of ‘ordinary’ residents, known for their ‘Pro-Ukrainian’ stance.” Local NGOs confirmed that while seizing administrative buildings, armed groups obtained access to personal data of activists who participated in rallies. The latter and their families were reportedly being threatened and harassed. The Monitoring Team notes “multiple reports that thousands of people are eager to escape the conflict zones as soon as they can safely move.”
  • There has also been more regular and intense fighting as the Government has deployed its armed forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. “Local residents of areas affected by the fighting are increasingly being caught in the cross-fire between the Ukrainian military and armed groups, with a growing number of residents killed and wounded,” the report says, adding that the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission is “concerned at the increasing number of reports of enforced disappearances as a result of the security operations.”
  • High Commissioner Pillay urged the Government to “exercise restraint, ensure that security operations are in line with international standards at all times, and take great care to protect civilians when engaging with armed groups.”
“Freedom of expression continues to be threatened, particularly in the eastern regions, where journalists face ongoing intimidation and threats to their physical security,” the report says. It details numerous cases of violence, harassment, arbitrary detention and kidnapping of journalists, including Ukrainians in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and in Crimea, as well as visiting Russian media workers covering events in the east. “Hate speech, particularly through social media, continues to fuel tensions and to deepen division between communities,” the report states.
In Crimea, “the introduction of Russian Federation legislation, in contradiction with the United Nations General Assembly resolution 68/262 and applicable bodies of international law, hampers the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” the report says, adding that “it has created a legislative limbo as, while Ukrainian legislation was supposed to remain in force until 1 January 2015, the legal institutions and framework are already required to comply with the provisions of legislation of the Russian Federation. Thus for instance, NGOs are no longer able to register.”

“Residents in Crimea known for their ‘Pro-Ukrainian’ position are intimidated,” the report continues, citing concern that many may face increasing discrimination, particularly in the areas of education and employment, and adding that leaders and activists of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people face prosecution and limitations on the enjoyment of their cultural rights.
“During the reporting period, the situation of all residents of Crimea has deteriorated with regard to their rights to freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, association, religion or belief,” the report says.


  1. Комментарий официального представителя МИД России А.К.Лукашевича в связи с публикацией очередного доклада Управления Верховного комиссара ООН по правам человека о ситуации в области прав человека на Украине...

    Внимательно изучили очередной доклад о ситуации на Украине, опубликованный Управлением Верховного комиссара ООН по правам человека (УВКПЧ) на основе выводов Наблюдательной миссии ООН по правам человека на Украине.

    Вновь обращает на себя внимание однобокая и политически ангажированная трактовка событий в этой стране, произошедших в мае и начале июня текущего года. К сожалению, избирательный подход авторов документа к ситуации на Украине не изменился: из всего объема доступной информации в основном отражается та, что подходит под заранее сформулированные выводы.

    Неприемлема попытка бездоказательно возложить всю ответственность за кровопролитие на Востоке Украины на силы ополчения Донецка и Луганска. При этом нет объективной оценки преступных действий Киева, ведущего боевые действия, в том числе с использованием авиации, тяжелой артиллерии и бронетехники, против мирного населения. Наблюдатели старательно обошли стороной массовую гибель гражданских лиц в результате карательной операции в Донбассе. Ни слова осуждения действий «Национальной гвардии» и наемнических батальонов «Азов», «Днепр» и других, которые нарушают нормы международного гуманитарного права.

    Особое возмущение вызывает лицемерная рекомендация украинским властям осуществлять антитеррористическую операцию «в соответствии с международными стандартами». Фактически это можно трактовать как индульгенцию на продолжение истребления мирного населения и эскалацию конфликта. Странно слышать такое от людей, позиционирующих себя в качестве правозащитников, особенно в свете недавних призывов Генсекретаря ООН и Верховного комиссара ООН по правам человека прекратить насилие. .............

  2. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said the United States will work with its partners to impose "further costs on Russia" if it does not use its influence to help halt separatist violence in eastern Ukraine....

    The White House said Biden spoke by telephone Wednesday with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and that the two promised to "stay in touch" ahead of a meeting of European Union leaders next week.

    The U.S. and EU imposed sanctions against a group of Russian individuals and companies after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in March.

    Pro-Russian separatists have for months mounted a rebellion in eastern Ukraine, which the United Nations said Wednesday has involved killings, torture and abductions to instill a "climate of fear."

    Gianni Magazzeni, a U.N. human rights office official, said the situation has created challenges for those caught up in the fighting.

    "This has to so with access to public services whether it's schools, medical services, whether it's food, whether it's electricity, water. But it's also a question of a total breakdown in law and order, the inability to get protection when it comes to ill treatment, detention, abductions and possible also torture and executions that are, and we are reporting, are taking place in this pocket areas in the East in the course of the past month," said Magazzeni.

    U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay urged armed separatists to stop actions she says are leading to misery and destruction in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. She said "the time has come to put down the guns and talk."..................


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