Statement by Daria Morozova following mosque shelling in Donetsk

Comments and statements of the Ombudsman News

Free practice of religion is one of the important guarantees of the observance of human rights and the humane treatment of civilians in armed conflict. In accordance with Article 16 of Additional Protocol II to the Geneva Conventions relative to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflict, it is prohibited to engage in any hostile acts against places of worship. Thus, the mortar fire started by the armed formations of Ukraine in the morning of June 4 against an operating mosque in the Octyabrsky district of the city of Donetsk, is a gross violation of the norms and principles of international humanitarian law.

Particular attention must be drawn to the fact that the attack occurred immediately before the prayer service on one of the main Muslim holidays Eid al-Fitr, when there were a lot of believers inside, including children who were forced to take refuge in the basement on their holy day. Fortunately, there were no casualties, but this does not dim the guilt of those involved, who should fully bear responsibility for the incident, providing that Ukraine intends to continue to position itself in the world as a legal state.

I have informed international human rights organizations on this evidence-based fact. I ask the world community to pay attention to the frequent cases of gross violation of the principles and norms of international humanitarian law by the Ukrainian side, the use of prohibited methods of warfare in order to intimidate and exterminate the civilian population of Donbass and take measures aimed at preventing further attacks on fundamental human rights and freedoms.