Ukraine: Council of Europe denounces 'staggering' human rights violations

Ukraine: Council of Europe denounces 'staggering' human rights violations
Kharkiv at the start of the war. Credit: Belga

The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, on Saturday denounced the “staggering” violations of human rights and international humanitarian rights by the Russian army in Ukraine.

“The extent and gravity of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that have taken place as a result of the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine are staggering," Mijatovic said at a press conference that capped a four-day visit to Kyiv and surrounding areas.

“The names of Bucha, Borodyanka, Irpin or Andriivka have come to symbolise the horrific acts that were committed here,” added the Commissioner, whose visit had not been announced beforehand, for security reasons.

“Unfortunately, their residents are not alone in suffering. There are many more people across Ukraine who have suffered unspeakable atrocities. Each of them deserves justice and must not be forgotten.”

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“I call on states to continue to support in every possible way the investigation and prosecution efforts and to coordinate these closely with the Ukrainian authorities, civil society, and the International Criminal Court,” she said.

The Commissioner went to various areas outside Kyiv, “which have all suffered artillery shelling, heavy fighting and the brutality of the Russian forces,” the press release stated. This provided a painful illustration of the extent of such egregious human rights and humanitarian law violations.”

Russia withdrew from the Council a few days after launching its attack against Ukraine.


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