News / Europe

UN: Corruption, Propaganda Behind Ukraine Tensions

A female member of the "Maidan" self-defense unit stands guard in front of the Ukrainian parliament building in Kyiv, April 15, 2014.
A female member of the "Maidan" self-defense unit stands guard in front of the Ukrainian parliament building in Kyiv, April 15, 2014.
Lisa Schlein
The United Nations says widespread corruption, propaganda and misinformation are to blame for escalating tensions in Ukraine. In a report released Tuesday, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights calls for perpetrators of rights violations to be held accountable for their actions.

The United Nations report looks at the root causes of the crisis facing Ukraine. It blames current disquieting events in the country on widespread corruption and economic inequality, on lack of accountability for human rights violations by security forces and on a weak rule of law.

The U.N. human rights office says protests in November in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, which were largely peaceful, turned violent and became radicalized because of the excessive use of force by the Berkut special police and other security forces.

The report says 121 people - mainly protesters - died during the demonstrations.  It also cites numerous cases of torture and ill treatment.   The U.N. investigators say violations related to the Maidan protests should be investigated and perpetrators held accountable.

Gianni Magazzeni, chief of the Americas, Europe and Central Asia Branch of the U.N. human rights office, says the current disintegration of the situation in Ukraine is due to the lack of respect for international norms and the rule of law.  He says the government must ensure good governance and the protection of  minority rights.

“One issue that the press release issued by the high commissioner this morning says is, of course, avoiding misinformation, propaganda, and incitement to hatred because, of course, if there are different narratives, if there are different points of views as to what are the facts on the ground, there are possibilities for those to increase the level of insecurity, increasing the potential for violence, for non-respect of international human rights norms," Magazzeni said.

The report released Tuesday is based on information collected during two missions to Ukraine in March by Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic and a team of U.N. rights monitors on the ground.  

Monitors found credible allegations of harassment, arbitrary arrests and torture targeting activists and journalists who were opposed to the March 16 referendum annexing Crimea to Russia.  The U.N. report also criticizes the lack of freedom of expression and assembly and other key rights in the disputed region.

The investigators note the situation in eastern Ukraine, home to a large ethnic Russian minority, is particularly tense.  Magazzeni says in a VOA interview that the government made a mistake when it sought to repeal a law that deemed Russian a regional language in southern and eastern Ukraine.  He says the acting president has addressed this problem by vetoing the proposal.  

“The government of Ukraine is doing all what is necessary in order to address some of the underlying human rights issues and trying to prepare the country for the elections on the 25th of May, which we hope will be free and fair and will even more consolidate their ability to work fully in line with the constitution of 2004 and the International human rights requirement they have," he said.

Among its many recommendations, the United Nations report calls for all those who have committed human rights violations during the unrest to be held accountable.  It says all citizens should have the right to participate equally in public affairs and political life.

You May Like

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Vladimir from: Russia
April 15, 2014 5:28 PM
thank God that the UN has lost all its credibility denouncing and condemning Israel...
so now, whatever UN say could be put in toilet...
the whole world is laughing at the UN...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid