Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Russia: UN-backed probe accuses Russia of war crimes in Ukraine – Usky News

GENEVA: Russian attacks against civilians in Ukraine, including systematic torture and killings in the occupied territories, amount to war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity, according to a report from a UN-backed investigation released on Thursday.
Comprehensive human rights report released one year after Russian airstrike on a theater Mariupol hundreds of people who took refuge inside were killed, marking a highly unusual condemnation from a member of the United Nations Security Council.
Among possible crimes against humanity, the report cited repeated attacks targeting Ukrainian infrastructure since the fall, leaving hundreds of thousands without heat and electricity during the coldest months, along “Systematic and widespread” torture was used in many areas under Russian occupation.
“There were elements of planning and availability of resources that indicate Russian authorities may have committed atrocities amounting to crimes against humanity,” it said. Eric Mosea former Norwegian Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights judge who led the investigation.
The investigation also found crimes committed against Ukrainians on Russian territory, including deported Ukrainian children who were prevented from reuniting with their families, a “filtration” system aimed at isolating Ukrainians for detention and torture. And there were inhumane detention conditions.
The Commission of Inquiry is the most powerful tool used by the United Nations-backed Human Rights Council to investigate abuses and violations around the world. The probe, released on Thursday, was set up during an urgent debate shortly after Russia’s invasion last year.
The Commission’s three members are independent human rights experts, and its staff is supported and funded by the Council and the United Nations Human Rights Office.
The report’s authors noted a “small number” of apparent violations by Ukrainian forces, which they said were being criminally investigated by Ukrainian authorities, but reserved the vast majority of their report for allegations against Russia.
Russia did not respond to The Inquiry’s appeals for information.
Most of the abuses uncovered by the investigation were already well known, and reports accusing Russia of war crimes are far from the first. However, the findings of the investigation come with the permission of the international community: the experts work under a mandate created last year by the Human Rights Council, which brings together the governments of the 47 UN member states.
Moise, who served as president of an international tribunal set up in 1994 to prosecute members of Rwanda’s ethnic Tutsi minority in cases of genocide, said investigators sought to identify individuals responsible for human rights violations in Ukraine. made a list of.
He said the list “will be handed over to the relevant authorities in this matter”, but the team acknowledged the difficulty of an investigation involving a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Ultimately, the report may join efforts to promote accountability for crimes committed in war – whether by the International Criminal Court or by some individual countries taking up the right to invoke “universal jurisdiction” to prosecute atrocities. Yes, wherever they are.


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