Impunity for killings ‘remains rampant’ in Ukraine conflict: Report
July 15, Geneva: A new report by the United Nations human rights office released describes widespread killings that have taken place in Ukraine since January 2014, concluding that very limited accountability has taken place.
The report, which was prepared by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, stated that the armed conflict in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, “accounts for the majority of violations of the right to life in Ukraine over the last two years,” claiming up to 2,000 civilian lives, with nearly 90 per cent of conflict-related civilian deaths resulting from indiscriminate shelling of residential areas.
More than 9,300 people have been killed in Ukraine since the beginning of the separatist conflict in eastern regions of the country in mid-April 2014. The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission was deployed by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to the country in March 2014 upon the invitation of the Government of Ukraine.
Covering the period from January 2014 to May 2016, the report states that the killings are being According to the report, the killings are being “fuelled by the inflow of foreign fighters and weapons from the Russian Federation.” It concluded that no responsibility has been taken for any civilian deaths caused by the conduct of hostilities, and that some of the killings may amount to war crimes and/or crimes against humanity.
“Impunity for killings remains rampant, encouraging their perpetuation and undermining prospects for justice,” said the 20-page report, which includes an additional 31-page annex describing more than 60 specific cases, focusing mainly on cases of alleged killings of civilians, and people otherwise protected under international humanitarian law, in the conflict zone while no armed hostilities were taking place in the immediate vicinity of the incidents.
The report also found that significant numbers of people, including civilians, have also been summarily executed or have died in custody, with most such killings occurring in 2014 and early 2015.
The Oslo Times International News Network