12 Sep 2017 14:53

UN human rights mission blames both Donbas conflicting parties for practice of illegal captivity

KYIV. Sept 12 (Interfax) - The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission to Ukraine has voiced concern about the practice of extrajudicial detention and captivity exercised by both conflicting parties in Donbas and called for international observers' access to detainees held in territories uncontrolled by Kyiv.

The United Nations continues to document cases of extrajudicial detention, torture and mistreatment, including sexual violence, on both sides of the contact line, head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Fiona Frazer told a press briefing in Kyiv on Tuesday while presenting the 19th UN human rights report on Ukraine.

The mission has seen cases in which the Ukrainian army seized people in relation to the conflict and held them in isolation for 24 hours before transfer to a legitimate detention facility. Furthermore, the mission continues to document torture and maltreatment accusations against the Ukrainian Security Service, which is employing such methods to obtain confessions from persons detained in relation to the conflict, Frazer said.

The mission has been informed that the military prosecution service is looking into a series of such accusations, Frazer added.

Denial of access to detainees and detention facilities is seriously complicating the mission's activity in the areas held by armed groups, Frazer said. Independent international observers must have access and confidential interviews in accordance with international standards, she said. Denial of access causes serious concern about the terms of custody and treatment of detainees by armed groups, she said.

Unhampered access to international observers would have tangibly improved the situation and reduced the scope of torture and maltreatment of the detainees, Frazer said.