UN rights watchdog accuses Kiev forces of torture, inhumane treatment of civilians

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Azov battalion soldiers take an oath of allegiance to Ukraine in Kiev’s Sophia Square before being sent to the Donbass region. (RIA Novosti / Evgeny Kotenko)

Kiev-controlled volunteer battalions and the Ukrainian Security Service are involved in an increasing number of human rights violations including torture and forced disappearances of those suspected of “separatism,” according to a UN OHCHR report.

The report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says that Kiev’s actions in eastern Ukraine to “restore order” have led to “arbitrary detentions, torture, and enforced disappearances of people suspected of ‘separatism and terrorism’. Most of such human rights violations appear to have been perpetrated by certain voluntary battalions or by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).”

The eighth OHCHR report on the human rights situation in Ukraine released on Monday added that the procedural rights of people have not always been observed, with reports of ill-treatment and reprisals upon release.

The report, which covers from November 1-30, says the Office of the Military Prosecutor has not taken any actions to investigate the “considerable” number of allegations of human rights violations,“including looting, arbitrary detention and ill-treatment by members of certain voluntary battalions such as Aidar, Azov, Slobozhanshchina and Shakhtarsk.”

For instance, OHCHR says that raids carried out by armed masked men in uniforms without insignia on 85 homes in the district of Krasnyi Lyman have led to a large number of forced disappearances. Those interviewed by UN staff reported being beaten and intimidated to “confess to participation in the armed groups.”

Read more at RT News

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