News / Europe

UN: Corruption, Propaganda Behind Ukraine Tensions

A female member of the
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

US Gives Malaysia Questionable Upgrade in Human Trafficking Ranks

Malaysia’s upgrade seen as removing barrier to country’s participation in the US-led 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership More

Turkey, US Try to Establish Buffer Despite Differences

Coalition airstrikes in proposed zone would aim to drive out Islamic extremists, allowing targeted area to come under sway of anti-Assad rebels More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe 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.
US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Wini
X
July 28, 2015 12:21 AM
The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs