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The UN denounces torture and ill-treatment in prisons in the framework of the war in Ukraine

MADRID, 24 Mar.

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The UN denounces torture and ill-treatment in prisons in the framework of the war in Ukraine


The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has published this Friday a report in which it denounces cases of torture and mistreatment investigated for six months in prisons by Ukraine and Russia.

"The prison staff subjected the prisoners of war to so-called 'welcome blows' upon their arrival: they regularly beat and electrocuted them during cell inspections or while walking them around the facilities," explained the head of the Mission. of Human Rights Surveillance of the UN in Ukraine, Matilda Bogner.

Bogner explained that former Ukrainian prisoners of war conveyed to investigators the fear they felt every time they left their cell to shower, since those trips "ended in beatings and humiliation, often with sexual overtones."

More than 84 percent of Ukrainian prisoners of war, according to the cases investigated, suffered torture and ill-treatment. "We document that five prisoners of war died from injuries sustained during torture in internment," he said in a statement.

"However, most of the Ukrainian prisoners of war captured during the battle were tortured or ill-treated prior to internment. Members of the Russian Army and the Russian Security Service tortured and ill-treated them to obtain military information, to intimidate or humiliate them, in of retaliation", has sentenced.

Of the 203 Ukrainian prisoners of war interviewed by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, 67 percent fell into the hands of Russian forces after commanders negotiated their surrender, contributing to increased protection.

On the other hand, almost half of the 229 Russian prisoners of war interviewed claimed to have suffered torture or ill-treatment by the Ukrainian Army or the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), as well as by prison staff, to a lesser extent.

"The (Russian) prisoners of war were beaten, shot in the legs, stabbed in the extremities, electrocuted, subjected to mock executions, threatened with sexual violence or death," he said, adding that the facilities where they were searched cases were in Dnipro, Vinnitsia and Kharkiv.

Bogner has also "welcomed" the establishment of a prison camp in Lviv that does not have a "closed" confinement regime, as many of the prisons in Ukraine do not have this status.

"We hope that the (Ukrainian) authorities will address the allegations of humiliating and degrading treatment we received during our visit to the camp in December 2022. The Russian Federation has not established any camps and prisoners of war are regularly kept in closed confinement," he said. detailed.

In general terms, the report reports 621 cases of forced disappearances and arbitrary detentions of civilians by Moscow. 90 percent of those interviewed --127-- claimed to have been tortured, mistreated or even raped. Five of these civilians were children, between the ages of 14 and 17.

In contrast, in six months 91 cases of forced disappearances and arbitrary detentions by Ukraine have been documented. 53 percent -- 73 -- claimed to have been tortured or ill-treated by Ukrainian forces.

"As of January 31 of this year, we had registered 133 victims (of sexual violence), of which 85 were men, 45 women and three girls. 109 cases are attributable to the Russian Armed Forces, Russian police authorities and prison staff. , and 24 cases are attributable to the SBU", he highlighted.

Finally, the United Nations has documented transfers of civilians from occupied Ukrainian territory to Russia, "some of which may constitute forced transfers or deportations." Among them were minors and unaccompanied children from Donetsk, Kharkov, Kherson, kyiv and Odesa.