Punishment for crimes against humanity, as well as war crimes, is an important factor in preventing such crimes, protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, confidence-building, encouraging cooperation among peoples and ensuring international peace and security.
In accordance with international law, war crimes and crimes against humanity are among the most serious crimes and do not have a statute of limitations. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court defines acts that can be regarded as crimes against humanity. Among other things, they are imprisonment or other cruel deprivation of liberty, torture, persecution of any identifiable group or community on political, racial, national or other grounds, enforced disappearance of people, other inhumane acts of a similar nature, intentionally causing great suffering or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
Paragraph 1 of the UN General Assembly Resolution 3074 (XXVIII), 1973 “Principles Of International Cooperation In The Detection, Arrest, Extradition And Punishment Of Persons Guilty Of War Crimes And Crimes Against Humanity” provides that “war crimes and crimes against humanity, wherever they are committed, shall be subject to investigation, and persons against whom there is evidence that they have committed such crimes shall be subject to tracing, arrest, trial and, if found guilty, to punishment.”
In the course of the armed conflict unleashed by the illegitimate Kiev authorities in the territory of Donbass, civilians often become victims of enforced disappearance, unlawful deprivation of liberty, torture and other acts that are a grave violation of fundamental human rights. On March 15, an initiative group of Ukrainian citizens living in the territory of Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics announced the creation of the People’s Tribunal for Ukrainian war crimes in Donbass.
The Tribunal for crimes committed by the regime of Petro Poroshenko and his coterie is forward-looking: collection and systematization of data on crimes committed by Ukrainian servicemen and members of nationalist groups in Donbass, so that they can later be sorted by different categories.
All persons responsible for the crimes against Donbass population must be punished so that no one else has a desire to organize a coup d’etat, to torture and kill people with impunity.
The post of the Human Rights Ombudsman has been established in the Donetsk People’s Republic to ensure the state protection of citizens’ rights and freedoms, to prevent any form of discrimination regarding the exercise of their rights and freedoms.
Citizens can apply to the Ombudsman in any suitable way. Now, the majority of applications are still verbal and submitted through personal reception either with the Ombudsman or the heads of the Office, addressing the Public Complaints and Appeals Department, via hotlines and via web-reception on the Website of the Ombudsman. There is a possibility to file a written complaint that may be submitted either in person or via e-mail.
Since the beginning of 2018 the Ombudsman received 1441 appeals. In the period of work between 17 and 23 March 2018, 8 citizens visited the Ombudsman in person, 67 persons received counselling by the Appeals department, 12 citizens received counselling by the Working Group on Issues of Temporary Displaced Persons, and 23 persons received legal counselling. 30 calls were received via hotlines, 18 applications were received via e-mail, 14 written appeals were taken into consideration, 13 – have been reviewed among those received earlier.
All appeals received can be divided into six categories: violations in criminal law – 92 appeals, violations in civil law– 98 appeals, administrative and legal violations against the DPR citizens – 0 appeals, social and humanitarian issues – 686 appeals, issues connected with hostilities – 206 appeals, other issues – 359 appeals (diagram 1).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens, submitted to the Office of DPR Ombudsman as of 23.03.2018
Violations in criminal law
Issues of social and humanitarian affairs
Violations in civil law
issues connected with hostilities
Administrative and legal violations against citizens
Among all incoming correspondence to the Ombudsman of DPR, the one which deals with the issues of the exercise of social rights of citizens and violations of these rights is the most frequent. These issues are: pension and social payments, benefits, disability, humanitarian aid – 175 appeals, temporary accommodation – 244 appeals, issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services – 48 appeals, migration legislation issues – 91 appeals, labour legislation issues – 47 appeals, healthcare issues – 40 appeals, guardianship and family law issues – 17 appeals, issues of education, culture and sport – 7 appeals, activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations – 8 appeals, land use and tenure – 0 appeals, the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials – 9 appeals, issues related to hostilities – 206 appeals, issues of destruction in the sphere of culture, housing and road transport infrastructure – 17 appeals, search of the missing – 49 appeals, exchange of detained persons – 128 appeals, issues related to citizens wounded and deceased as a result of hostilities in the DPR – 12 appeals, other issues – 359 appeals. (Diagram 2).
The number of appeals (complaints, applications) from citizens on social and humanitarian issues, received by the DPR Ombudsman`s Office as of 23.03.2018
pension and social payments, benefits, disability, humanitarian aid
migration legislation issues
guardianship and family law issues
land use and tenure
issues of destruction in the sphere of culture, housing and road transport infrastructure
labour legislation issues
issues of education, culture and sport
the rights of servicemen and law enforcement officials
search of the missing
issues of housing legislation, protection of consumers of housing and public utility services
activities of public associations, organizations and trade unions, religious organizations
issues related to hostilities
exchange of detained persons
issues related to citizens wounded and deceased as a result of hostilities in the DPR
The majority of complaints are traditionally received from Donetsk, by territory (Diagram 3).
The number of appeals (complains, applications) from citizens, received by the DPR Ombudsman`s Office as of 23.03.2018
- Statistics and analysis of destroyed infrastructure objects
Targeted shelling by Ukrainian forces causes destruction of private property and infrastructure – this is the reality of the front-line regions of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
As of January 20, 2018, as many as 26252 residential buildings were partly destroyed (damaged) as a result of hostilities.
More than 10927 objects have been destroyed in Donetsk, 1710 houses in Debaltsevo, 3443 – in Gorlovka, 505 – in Dokuchayevsk, 1031 – in Yenakievo, 100 – in Zhdanovka, 213 – in Kirovskoye, 1273 – in Makeyevka, 120 – in Snyezhnoye, 130 – in Torez, 279 – in Khartsysk, 348 – in Ilovaisk, 74 – in Zugres, 1923 – in Shakhtyorsk, 1601 – in Yasinovataya, 540 – in Amvrosyevka region, 775 – in Novoazovsk region, 434 – in Starobeshevo region, 826 – in Telmanovo region.
According to the official data as of January 20, 2018, there are 7688 residential houses rebuilt.
2496 houses have been rebuilt in Donetsk, 430 houses – in Debaltsevo, 846 – in Gorlovka, 277 – in Dokuchayevsk, 183 – in Yenakievo, 44 – in Zhdanovka, 162 – in Kirovskoye, 608 – in Makeyevka, 80 – in Snyezhnoye, 18 – in Torez, 20 – in Khartsysk, 84 – in Ilovaisk, 26 – in Zugres, 1042 – in Shakhtyorsk, 284 – in Yasinovataya, 384 – in Amvrosyevka region, 154 – in Novoazovsk region, 317 – in Starobeshevo region, 430 – in Telmanovo region.
- Estimates of mortality, wounds to civilians and soldiers as a result of hostilities in the territory of the Donetsk People`s Republic.
Almost every day the DPR Ombudsman’s Office records cases of violations of Donbass citizens’ rights by Kiev authorities: the right to life, to security of the person, to inviolability of the home.
March 17, as a result of hostilities near Gorlovka, a DPR serviceman of 35 years old sustained shrapnel penetrating wound to the abdominal, to both legs and left side of the forehead.
Within the period between 16 and 22 March 2018, 1 DPR serviceman sustained injuries in the territory of the DPR as a result of armed aggression of the Ukrainian side.
Within the period between January 1 and March 22, 2018, 44 persons sustained injuries of various severities in the territory of the DPR. Among them, there were 34 DPR servicemen, 6 civilian men, and 4 civilian women.
Within the period between 16 and 22 March 2018 – no casualties reported in the territory of the DPR.
Within the period between January 1 and March 22, 2018, 27 persons died in the territory of the DPR, including 26 DPR servicemen and 1 civilian.
To be specific, since the beginning of the armed conflict 4594 persons died. Among them, there are 605 women and 3989 men, including 76 children under eighteen.
Officially confirmed information on individuals, who have been wounded since the beginning of the conflict continues to be reported to the Ombudsman’s Office in DPR.
- Register of the prisoners of war, missing soldiers
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic didn’t receive any appeals on arrest.
Based on the updated figures as of 23.03.2018, 287 persons are held by the Ukrainian side including:
– 81 of those whose presence on the territory of Ukraine had been confirmed.
– 206 persons whose whereabouts are unknown or are being clarified by the Ukrainian side. It is necessary to note that 4 persons have been excluded from the list, since there is no need to search for them. Also, 4 persons have been transferred to the list of missing persons.
This week the Ombudsman’s Office in the Donetsk People’s Republic didn’t receive any appeals on missing persons.
As of 23 March 2018, 452 persons are considered missing. Hypothetically, they might be in Ukrainian captivity.
- Register of forcibly displaced persons.
At the time of the armed conflict, the civilian population living in the zone of fighting and near the contact line is often affected. With the view to protect human right to life and security of the person, and to provide assistance to victims as a result of armed aggression by Ukraine, Temporary Accommodation Centres (TACs) have been opened in the Donetsk People’s Republic. Any person can receive temporary accommodation there if they need it.
1221 IDPs now live in temporary accommodation of the Office, including 225 underage children. Since the beginning of the conflict 5361 referrals for temporary accommodation have been issued, 118 of them – in 2018. All the TACs are under the DPR Ombudsman’s inspection. The staffs of the Office monitor the TACs on a weekly basis, with the view to respond promptly to the citizens’ needs. The Ombudsman makes every effort to improve social and living conditions for people who live in the TACs.
During the period of work between 17 and 23 March 2018, 15 persons have applied to the Ombudsman’s Office on the issues related to internally displaced persons. Referrals for temporary accommodation were given to 3 of them: 2 persons accommodated in Donetsk, 1 – in Khartsysk. There are currently 1199 housing spots available for IDPs. Among them: 1199 – in DPR Temporary Accommodation Centres (including TACs of Ombudsman`s Office); 289 – in TACs of the Ombudsman`s Office.
It is necessary to remind that there are 7576 persons, including 1892 children under the age of eighteen registered since the beginning of the conflict. 63 temporary accommodation centres have been established in the DPR, including the one in Sedovo that was put into operation this week. 55 of these TACs operate, 8 of them are held in reserve.
Currently, 1508 individuals live in the centres, including 282 underage children, 4847 persons live in the housing fund of DPR, including 1385 children under eighteen.
- Employment of DPR citizens
The Republican Employment Centre is the main institution responsible for providing jobs to the population.
According to their data, 15.1 thousands of vacancies were available in the common database as of 23.03.2018. As of March 23, 2018, there were 16.2 thousand individuals who seek for a job, registered in the Republic Employment Centres. Among them: 10.6 thousand have been employed (4.3 of them – on permanent positions, 6.3 – temporarily).
Donetsk Centre of Vocational Education of The Republic Employment Centre organises regular free public workshops to train practical skills, such as work with personal computers; technique and mechanization of trade accounts (work with cash register machines); the program “1C: Accounting 8.2.”; fundamentals of entrepreneurship; processing and decoration of textile and clothing products etc. 51 persons participated in such seminars.