On June 2, 2017, the “Hlavkom” news agency hosted the presentation of the joint report of human rights organizations “Illegal detention and torture committed by the Ukrainian side in the zone of armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.”
Speakers at the press conference were Andrii Hladun, an analyst at the Center for Documentation of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, Oleksandr Pavlichenko, a representative of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group and Dmytro Koval, a representative of “Truth Hounds”.
The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, NGO «Truth Hounds» and the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection group documented cases of detention of 23 persons based on 20 interviews of victims and witnesses of events and photos and documents given by the people. The authors collected testimonies of victims during some monitoring visits from various sources. They suggest the common practice of detention of local people in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, accused of separatism, in 2014 and 2015.
Such detentions took place with violations of provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine (CPC). Abduction and detention of arrested persons in improper places without communication with the outside world allow qualifying such arrests as enforced disappearance. Tortures were often applied to detainees, particularly during interrogations. Actions, described in the report, are violations of the national legislation of Ukraine, international law, human rights and international humanitarian law.
The report’s authors believe that for reasons of a general desire for peace, security and justice, a full and thorough investigation of the events described in this report should be conducted and perpetrators should be brought to justice, to ensure absolute respect for fundamental human rights.
The event was held within the “Human Rights in Action” project, which is implemented by the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union with the generous support of the American people through the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
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