East Ukraine Death Toll Reaches 6,362; Torture Persists, UN SaysAliaksandr Kudrytski
At least 15,775 wounded since mid-April 2014 in Ukraine conflict, Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights says in e-mailed report.
- Estimates are conservative; actual number of casualties is probably higher
- Killings, torture, illegal deprivation of liberty, forced labor, looting, ransom demands, extortion, persecution, intimidation of pro-Ukraine minded people continues in territory controlled by armed groups in Donetsk, Luhansk regions
- While indiscriminate shelling of populated areas decreased after Feb. 15 cease-fire, resulting in fewer casualties, truce isn’t fully respected
- Rebel republics are taking establishing their own legislative frameworks, contrary to Ukraine’s constitution, which jeopardizes Minsk agreements
- Since early April, rebels began to pay some pensions in Russian rubles from unknown resources
- Ukraine’s system of permits for travel to/from rebel-held areas constrains freedom of movement, increases isolation
- Court system in Ukraine lacks independence, judges subject to pressure
- Ukraine needs to ensure Maidan killings, May 2 violence in Odessa and allegations of human-rights abuses by its troops are fully investigated
- Implementation of Minsk agreements is “the only viable strategy” for achieving peace in Donbas
- Harassment of pro-Ukrainian activists, Crimean Tatars, tightening of media controls continue in Crimea
- Report covers human-rights situation in Ukraine Feb. 16-May 15, based on work of UN monitoring mission
- NOTE: Ukraine Seen Prevailing in Creditor Talks on Debt Write-Off
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