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Ukraine urged to ensure accountability for human rights violations

[JURIST] The Ukrainian government must ensure accountability for human rights violations [press release], Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] urged in a report [text, PDF] Wednesday. AI addressed newly-elected President Viktor Yanukovych [official website], calling on him to bring Ukrainian laws and practices in line with international human rights standards. Among the recommendations are establishing an investigatory agency to look into complaints of human rights violations against police officers as well as unannounced visits to prisons to deter improper treatment of prisoners. AI also urged Ukraine to record and monitor incidents of racially motivated crimes and to create a fair asylum system. The Ukrainian government responded Thursday that it would follow the recommendations [press release]. Deputy head of Ukraine's presidential administration Anna German assured AI that the president was in control of "the promotion and unconditional protection of human rights."

Yanukovych was inaugurated in February after former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko dropped a lawsuit [JURIST report] contesting the election results, in which she alleged widespread voter fraud. AI has recently urged other countries to investigate human rights abuses. Last month, AI issued a report alleging that Kazakhstan's government was failing to curb torture [JURIST report] by law enforcement officers. The group also joined other human rights organizations in calling for an inquiry [JURIST report] into the UK role in torture during the war on terror.

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