Russian Kidnapping: UN Council Demands Access To Victims

Russian Kidnapping: UN Council Demands Access To Victims
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The United Nations Human Rights Council Humanitarian movement have demanded that their workers should be granted access to individuals who have been forcibly taken to Russia amid the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

It cited allegations that some have been forced across the border.

The Geneva-based council also open up during a special session on Ukraine to condemn atrocities documented by experts in Russian-occupied territories. A resolution from the council pointed to cases of torture, shootings, and sexual violence, among other crimes documented by a UN team on ground.

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The UN’s top rights body also called on Russia to immediately allow humanitarian workers access to people trafficked from Ukraine to Russia, or areas controlled or occupied by the Russian army.

Since the war began in late February, there have been reports of mayors, local officials, citizens, and children being abducted, detained or disappeared as Russia tries to assert its control.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said investigators had found the bodies of 1,000 civilians in the Kiev region alone.

“Some of these people were killed in hostilities, others appeared to have been summarily executed,” she said.

Thirty-three of the 47 member countries voted in favour of a resolution that demanded Russia ends its hostilities and for an independent international inquiry to look into a pattern of abuses with the aim of holding those responsible accountable.

Only China and Eritrea voted against, while another 12 countries abstained.

Bachelet said at the start of the one-day session to address Ukraine’s deteriorating rights situation that many of the abuses under investigation “may amount to war crimes.”

In New York, the United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF said at least 100 children died last month in the war, with the real number likely much higher.

Africa Daily News, New York

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