Ukrainian human rights activists tell about abductions and Ukrainian security forces’ secret prisons

16.06.2018, Kharkov.

The Kharkov Human Rights Protection Group (KhHRPG)  reported unlawful abductions committed by the Ukrainian security forces in the Kiev-controlled territories of Donetsk and Lugansk regions in a report published at its official website on June 15.

In its report “Enforced disappearances in Ukraine and disappearances during the war conflict in the east in 2014-2018 the oldest Ukrainian human rights organization summarizes information that various similar organizations gathered regarding unlawful abductions committed by the Ukrainian security officials.

The report provides figures that the KhHRPG received upon official request to the Ukrainian National Police (UNP), that from April 2014 to early 2017, 2,727 people went missing in the parts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions that the security forces control; moreover, the fate of 1,053 remains unknown.

According to information that the KhHRPG received from the Lugansk Military and Civil Administration, during the period from 2014 to 2017, 1,205 people went missing in the Lugansk region, 633 have been found, and the fate of 572 people remains unknown. Overall, 3,932 people went missing on Ukrainian security forces-controlled territory, of which 1,625 have not been found.

In its report, the KhHRPG openly names those responsible for the disappearances: these are the volunteer nationalist battalions. In the period from May to September 2014, human rights activists recorded numerous cases of hostage-taking, torture (sometimes fatal), theft of people’s belongings, and looting by the so-called “volunteer battalions.” The KhHRPG notes that the Shakhtersk Volunteer Militia Battalion was involved in this sort of operations, and it was disbanded in October 2014 (most of its personnel left for the Tornado Volunteer Battalion, which was later also disbanded).

Ukrainian human rights activists have repeatedly accused the Ukrainian security forces of being reluctant to investigate human rights violations, especially when an investigation concerns any actions committed by volunteer nationalist battalions or Ukrainian army special operations forces. Also, in their report the KhHRPG human rights activists directly wrote that the Ukrainian Security Service (Ukrainian: SBU) is directly involved in the abductions and in establishing a network of secret prisons, where unlawfully detained people are being tortured and killed.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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