UN rights office: serious human rights violations continue in eastern Ukraine News
UN rights office: serious human rights violations continue in eastern Ukraine

[JURIST] The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] released a report [text, PDF] on Thursday highlighting the continued commission of human rights violations in eastern Ukraine despite the announcement of a ceasefire on September 5. The report, produced by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine [official website], spans from September 17 to October 31 and details the human rights offenses in eastern Ukraine, which include torture, arbitrary and incommunicado detention, summary executions, forced labor and sexual violence, as well as the destruction and illegal seizure of property. The concerns of infringement on the social, economic and cultural rights of the Ukrainian people were also noted. The report points to the threat of interruption of treatment for more than 70,000 HIV and tuberculosis patients whose lives depend on sustained administration of life-saving medicine. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein [official profile], expressed his distress at the continuation of human rights violations and urged for compliance with the ceasefire and peaceful resolution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

During the reporting period, the Ukrainian parliament was able to pass some key legislation pertaining to the protection of human rights [press release], including laws on internally displaced persons, corruption and reform of the Office of the Prosecutor. On October 15, the Ukrainian president signed a decree requiring a governmental human right strategy to be in place by the first day of 2015. This can be seen as a significant move from the Ukrainian government, which has been subject to significant criticism for human rights violations and their use of incendiary weapons [JURIST reports].