Russia accused of torture and disappearance of civilians in Kherson and Zaporijia
The non-governmental organization (NGO) Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Friday accused Russian forces of being responsible for the disappearance and torture of civilians in southern Ukraine, in the regions of Kherson and Zaporijia.
“Russian forces also tortured prisoners of war held there,” he added in a statement.
“Russian forces have turned the occupied areas of southern Ukraine into an abyss of fear and savage anarchy,” denounced Human Rights Watch’s principal investigator in Ukraine.
Yulia Gorbunova stated that “torture, inhumane treatment, as well as arbitrary detention and unlawful confinement of civilians, are among the apparent war crimes (…) documented, and the Russian authorities need to immediately put an end to such abuses and understand who can, and will, be held accountable.”
HRW spoke to 71 people in the Kherson and Zaporijia regions who described 42 cases of torture and disappearance of civilians by the Russian occupation forces.
The NGO also documented the torture of three members of the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces, who were prisoners of war. Two of them died.
“The purpose of the abuse appears to be to obtain information and instill fear in people’s acceptance of the occupation, as Russia seeks to assert sovereignty over occupied territory in violation of international law,” Human Rights Watch maintained.
“People interviewed described being tortured, or witnessing torture, through prolonged beatings and, in some cases, electric shocks. They described injuries including broken ribs and other bones and teeth, severe burns, concussions, leaking blood vessels in the eyes, cuts and bruises.”
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