Members of a UN-mandated commission of inquiry reported on Monday, the 25th of September, that Russian occupiers subjected Ukrainians to brutal torture that left the tortured dead and raped women, forcing their families to listen, reports Reuters.
Erik Møse, chairman of the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that the commission’s latest findings revealed
“widespread and systematic” use of torture by Russian forces
in the territories under their control, adding that some victims of brutal torture had lost their lives.
The report highlighted cases of sexual violence and rape against women aged 19 to 83 in occupied parts of Kherson province, with Møse saying the horrific acts often took place while family members were forced to listen in nearby rooms.
The Commission of Inquiry has noted that due to limited access, it is difficult to determine the exact number of cases of torture that resulted in death. However, the evidence points to a significant number of such cases in different regions of Ukraine,
both near and far from the battle lines.
The Commission’s visits to the regions in August and September revealed that torture took place mainly in detention centres under Russian control, against persons believed to be Ukrainian informants.
Russia has consistently denied allegations of atrocities and civilian killings in Ukraine. The Commission tried to contact Russia about these allegations, but its attempts went unanswered. Moreover, Russia was not represented at the council meeting at which these conclusions were presented.
While the focus was on Russian forces, the UN Commission also found some instances of violence by Ukrainian forces. These included “indiscriminate attacks and ill-treatment” of Russian prisoners. Ukraine has stated that it is committed to investigating all allegations of ill-treatment of prisoners and to taking appropriate legal action in such cases.
A UN commission established in March 2022 has conducted a thorough investigation in Ukraine since the beginning of the war, conducting several visits and interviews.
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