International Organizations Drag Heels on Considering DPR Residents’ Complaints Against Ukrainian Security Forces

International Organizations Drag Heels on Considering DPR Residents’ Complaints Against Ukrainian Security Forces

Photo: http://Reuters.com

Russian human rights activist Maxim Vilkov gave a speech at events organized by international organizations. The third session of the Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law was held at the UN headquarters in Geneva on November 16-17.

The Human Dimension Seminar on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Girls took place in Warsaw on the same day. Maxim Vilkov, Head of the For Human Rights and Democracy Interregional Public Organization and coordinator of the Information Group on Crimes Against the Person attended both events.

He brought up the same issue of the human rights situation in southeastern Ukraine in his speeches. Many residents of this region, who had suffered from Ukrainian security forces and so-called “volunteer battalions” during the acute phase of the civil conflict, are now seeking justice in international organizations. They appeal to the OSCE and the International Criminal Court these international bodies insist that the plaintiffs have not yet exhausted all the possibilities of the “national law enforcement system.”

“Our organization, together with public human rights organizations from the Donetsk (DPR) and Lugansk People's Republics (LPR) has reported more than 800 crimes committed by members of Ukrainian armed groups over the past five years,” Vilkov said.

“It is obvious to any impartial observer that there is no possibility for these people to seek justice in Ukraine,” he said. It is not just because of distrust but also about people's fear for their safety. They might be prosecuted by Ukrainian law enforcers for the mere fact of living in the DPR or the LPR. Let alone those victims who were forced into admitting “anti-Ukrainian activities” in order to be released during prisoner exchanges between Ukraine and the unrecognized republics. The fact that many participants in combat operations against the unrecognized republics are granted amnesty and continue to serve in the Ukrainian Armed Forces of Ukraine and law enforcement agencies also causes concern.

Thus, residents of southeastern Ukraine, including those living in the territory, not under Kyiv's control, are deprived of the opportunity to defend their rights and punish the perpetrators both in the courts of the country that considers them its citizens and in international organizations. Maxim Vilkov recommended they pay close attention to the situation and accept and carefully consider the complaints filed by residents of southeast Ukraine, including those living in the Donbass Republics.

Up-to-date information about investigations conducted by the Interregional Public Organization For Human Rights and Democracy, as well as other human rights activists from Russia, Ukraine, and the unrecognized republics of the DPR and LPR, is posted on fordemocracy.ru. It also posts complaints and human rights defenders’ reports.

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