The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Dunja Mijatovic, denounced this Saturday “the deliberate attacks on civilians and journalists by the forces Russian”, on his return from a four-day visit to Ukraine.
“International humanitarian law has to be respected by all,” he said in a statement. Civilians, he added, “must not be targeted. Captured and surrendering soldiers, the wounded and the sick must be treated fairly and humanely.”
Mijatovic insisted on the “astounding” character of the human rights violations in the Russian aggression, and insisted that the reparation and support that must be given to the victims and their families “will be an incredibly complex but imperative task.”
The Commissioner welcomed the commitment of the Ukrainian authorities to ensure accountability for compliance with applicable human rights standards.
“I am committed to helping them on this journey, including by offering them the experience and best practices that exist in the area of psychological assistance for victims of conflict-related sexual violence,” Mijatovic said.
At the same time, he called for Council of Europe states to “continue to support investigation and prosecution efforts in any way possible and to closely coordinate them with the Ukrainian authorities, civil society and the International Criminal Court.”
After her experience on the ground, the commissioner applauded “the courage and perseverance of the Ukrainian citizens” and asked the international community for generosity in the task of reconstruction.
“I have heard the terrifying stories of families who lost loved ones. Thousands of innocent lives have been mercilessly cut short and for millions of people, the entire world has been turned upside down. In the face of their suffering, we must not be spectators,” she concluded.
Mijatovic met during the visit to Ukraine with the First Deputy Foreign Minister, Emine Dzhaparova; the Minister of Justice, Denys Maliuska; the deputy head of the presidential cabinet, Ihor Zhovkva; the attorney general, Irina Venediktova; and the ombudsman, Ludmila Denisova.
He also held meetings with the mayor of kyiv, Vitali Klitschko; with mayors and officials from the municipalities of Irpin, Bucha and Borodyanka; and with the president of the Crimean Tatar People’s Congress, Refat Chubarov.