UN Reports Torture From Both Sides in the Donbas
13 December, 2019

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has documented cases of detention, torture and abuse on both sides of the demarcation line in the Donbas conflict, as well as in Russia, where militants often transferred detainees.

This is stated in the report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The document described several cases of murders, detentions and torture both in the government-controlled territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and in the territories controlled by the militants.

The document states that at some point from mid-August to mid-November 2019, the Ukrainian military killed a man who came to Ukraine from the occupied Donetsk.

On July 11, 2019, he came to visit his relatives in the government-controlled village of Konstantynopilske in the Donetsk region. According to court documents, at least three Armed Forces servicemen arbitrarily detained him on suspicion of being a member of an armed group. He was brought to a wooded area where he was threatened to be executed. Then the man was taken to a military unit, where he was again forced to confess to the crime.

"When the perpetrators realized that the victim was not affiliated with any armed groups, they tried to cover up their crime; they took him to Maryinka and shot at least seven bullets in his head and back. On August 2, the victim's body was found in a sewage tank on the outskirts of Maryinka,” the report reads.

On August 16, the Zhovtnevyi District Court placed three Armed Forces servicemen in custody for 60 days. In October, the Maryinskyi District Court initiated a case against the Armed Forces servicemen charged under Articles 115-2 (murder), 146-3 (abduction) and 187-2 (robbery) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

READ MORE: "People in Donbas Don't Think It's Their War" - Former OSCE Rep Hug

Another murder took place on September 16, 2019, in Mariupol. A man was shot that was earlier released from prison, where he had been held for separatism.

Meanwhile, militants captured eight Ukrainian servicemen in May. One of them was put in prison by the so-called government of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic”. In October, he was found dead in his cell.

The report also states that people detained by militants are often expelled to Russia, and before that, they are tortured, mistreated, and forced to confess to work for the Ukrainian special services.

In September the head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine Matilda Bogner declared that over 3,300 civilians have died since the beginning of hostilities in the Donbas.

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