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UN "appalled" by footage of torture and shooting of Ukrainian POW

Friday, 29 July 2022, 23:04

KATERYNA TYSHCHENKO – FRIDAY, 29 JULY 2022, 23:04

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) has said that it was "appalled" by the videos showing the castration and shooting of a Ukrainian prisoner of war by a Russian Armed Forces officer. The HRMMU has called on "all parties" to refrain from torturing and killing captured combatants.

Source: The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission on Facebook; Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine on Telegram

Quote from the HRMMU: "HRMMU is appalled by the latest videos, apparently showing the beating, castration and shooting of a captured soldier from the Ukrainian Armed Forces by a man, who appears to be a member of the Russian armed forces or affiliated armed groups.

In one of the videos, the tortured soldier appeared to be shot in the head and his body dragged into a ditch. If confirmed, these actions would constitute war crimes."

Details: The UN monitoring mission has noted that this was "only the latest in a series of videos that have documented torture and extrajudicial killings of prisoners of war and persons hors de combat, committed by belligerent parties."

"HRMMU has publicly reported on videos showing Ukrainian soldiers shooting the legs of three captured Russian soldiers and, in a separate case, shooting and killing an injured Russian soldier," the HRMMU statement reads.

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The missions concludes that "All parties must refrain from torture, killings and threats of giving no quarter to captured combatants. They must promptly and effectively investigate all allegations of torture and unlawful killings. Those who perpetrate war crimes must be prosecuted and tried by a competent court."

Andrii Kostin, Prosecutor General of Ukraine, has taken charge of the investigations of the torture and killing of the Ukrainian soldier.

Quote from Kostin: "Extremely violent killings are now the Russian army’s trademark. Torture and harassment of civilians and prisoners of war is one of the most common war crimes committed by the Russian soldiers on our land. One of the top priorities of the Office of the Prosecutor General is to investigate these types of crimes.

But the violence of the latest case, which has been widely shared on social media, is beyond imagination. [The video] shows the inhumane treatment of a soldier wearing the uniform of the Ukrainian Armed Forces by the occupiers. Even prosecutors and investigators experienced in investigating violent killings and torture have been shaken by it."

Details: Kostin added that the prosecutors from war crimes units have begun the pre-trial investigation into the case. The investigation will also be carried out by the Main Investigative Department of the Security Service of Ukraine.

Earlier:

  • On 28 July, footage of a Russian soldier torturing a Ukrainian prisoner of war – including castrating him using only a box cutter – began to circulate on social media. Later on, another video was shared in which the same Ukrainian soldier is shot dead.
  • Dmytro Lubinets, Human Rights Commissioner in the Verkhovna Rada [Ukrainian Parliament - ed.], has appealed to the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine to verify the facts and to record a war crime and a violation of the norms of the Geneva Convention. He added that his office was preparing a message to the UN Committee against Torture, as well as to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

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