News / Europe

Amnesty: Abduction, Torture Rampant in Eastern Ukraine

Amnesty: Abduction, Torture Are Rampant in Eastern Ukrainei
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 11, 2014 10:21 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International says dozens of people in eastern Ukraine have been abducted and tortured by armed pro-Russian separatist groups in recent months. Ukrainian government forces are also accused of abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Amnesty: Abduction, Torture Are Rampant in Eastern Ukraine

Henry Ridgwell

Human rights group Amnesty International says dozens of people in eastern Ukraine have been abducted and tortured by armed pro-Russian separatist groups in recent months. Ukrainian government forces are also accused of abuses.
 
Several weeks after she was abducted and tortured, pro-Ukrainian activist Hannah still wears bandages to treat her wounds.

She was kidnapped from her Donetsk apartment by pro-Russian separatists and taken away blindfolded. Hannah describes what happened.

“My face was smashed,” she said. “They was trying to beat me everywhere, I was covering myself with my hands. Then they cut my hands and legs with a knife.”

Hannah describes how she was forced to write a separatist slogan on the wall in her own blood.

She says, “The man who was brutalizing me said ‘write with your blood on the wall: I love Donbas'. And he said you can't do this, if you run out of blood, I will shoot you.”

Hannah’s harrowing account is far from unique, according to Amnesty International. Researcher Denis Krivosheev has documented dozens of allegations of torture by separatist groups in eastern Ukraine.

“Mostly, it’s pro-Ukrainian activists - those who insisted that the east is part of Ukraine, who wanted to use Ukrainian flags, who wanted to use Ukrainian flags, shout Ukrainian symbols," Krivosheev said. "They were the ones targeted primarily. But also people who were involved with the presidential elections on 25th May, members of electoral committees, observers. Also, journalists.”

Amnesty says there is an increasing number of pro-Ukrainian activists escaping the east and arriving in the capital Kyiv.

Sasha says he was abducted after attending pro-Kyiv protests in Luhansk last month.

“They told me goodbye they were going to kill me," he said. "One guy with a gun put it to my head and said to go straight to the corridor and don't say anything. Whilst I was walking through the corridor, armed people who were there told me ‘goodbye, they are going to kill you now’.”

Amnesty says many of the alleged kidnap and torture victims are only now coming forward after being freed by Ukrainian forces.

In recent days the Ukrainian military has made territorial gains - forcing pro-Russian separatists from their strongholds in Slovyansk and Kramatorsk. But both Ukrainian government troops and pro-Kyiv activists also stand accused of carrying out abductions and torture - though on a much smaller scale.

Ukraine’s government must end the culture of impunity, says Amnesty’s Denis Krivosheev.

“All over Ukraine, police have been a force whose members have been regularly abusing people’s rights with impunity," said Krivosheev. "And if Kyiv authorities are really intent on reinstating the rule of law and putting the house in order, this is where they need to start.”

Justice may have to wait while the conflict goes on. Pro-Russian separatists are reinforcing their positions in Donetsk and Luhansk. Analysts say any battle for control of those cities would likely cost many lives.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sunday pope from: Monrovia
July 12, 2014 12:49 AM
So sad Let god Have Mercy upon Us human.


by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 11, 2014 8:39 PM
So Ukrainian forces are freeing people from pro-Russian barabrians, but the pro-Russian barabrians are doing this for freedom. I'm confused?

In Response

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 12, 2014 8:24 PM
Sorry, should have elaborated a little more. The pro-Russians are fighting for freedom of the Ukraine oppressive government. But, the pro-Russians are oppesssing people, i.e., abducting, torturing, God know what else! In other words, the pro-Russians are doing things that they were fighting against. That's the confusion. But not actually confused. More of a little sarcasm for all the 'pro-Russian rebel' morons that were commenting on this site about this issue. You were the only one to respond, thanks.

OK, all you 'pro-Russian rebel' defenders, where ya at????

Anyone reading these comments, you will notice that none are from the 'pro-Putin loving' 'pro-rebel defending' idiots that were justifying this conflict to begin with. WHERE ARE THEY???

In Response

by: Don Taco from: Elswhere
July 12, 2014 2:12 AM
Luv the name. Confused about the msg.


by: Peter from: Singapore
July 11, 2014 3:31 PM
Battle to control cities costs many lives that is a very good idea. Democracy need to improve the economy and living standard but not to produce hatre and to destroy the development of the country.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid