Statement from Daria Morozova on Violent Crimes Report

Comments and statements of the Ombudsman News

Public organizations “Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group” and “Shore of Peace” published a report on violent crimes committed in eastern Ukraine in 2014-2018.

It should be noted that the Report has an extremely biased and one-sided nature. For example, there is some controversial evidence presented when describing an airstrike against the city of Zugres, which resulted in civilian casualties. This casts doubt on the reporters’ competence.

The authors cite the number of illegal detention facilities without specifying the status of the territories. Even some mathematical calculation reveals inconsistencies. The authors of the Report failed to mention that international human rights organizations have long paid attention to the existence of secret prisons in Ukraine, as well as that UN representatives have repeatedly been denied access to places of detention.

The use of torture has also become a common practice for Ukraine, which claims to be a democratic, open and law-based state. However, nothing was said about the illegal methods of influence from representatives of the Ukrainian power structures.

Also, information on persons serving their sentences in the territory of the Republic was presented in a biased manner. Contrary to publicly available information that the Ukrainian side refuses to cooperate in the matter of transferring persons convicted before the conflict, the authors do not consider Kiev responsible for it.

The Report specifies that the research was funded by the United Nations. When I asked the UN representatives, however, they claimed not to be involved in the Report preparation. We look forward to seeing the official comment from the United Nations on this issue.