The NGO fully assumes the conclusions of its report contested by kyiv. She accused the Ukrainian army of endangering civilians in its fight against the Russian army by installing military infrastructure in inhabited areas.
“We fully maintain our conclusions”, declared this August 5 the secretary general of Amnesty International, Agnès Callamard, to AFP by e-mail, the day after the publication of a report in which the NGO accuses the army Ukraine for endangering civilian populations.
Agnès Callamard stressed that these conclusions were “based on evidence obtained during large-scale investigations subject to the same rigorous standards and verification process as all of Amnesty International’s work”. She deplored the reaction of the Ukrainian authorities “which risks paralyzing a legitimate and important discussion of these issues” of protection of civilians, specifying that the government had not responded to a request for reaction or comment before the publication of the report.
The NGO “clearly indicated that the Ukrainian military practices” described in its report, including the installation of military infrastructure in schools and hospitals, “in no way justify Russia’s systematic violations of international humanitarian law”. underlined the secretary general of the NGO. “Ignoring violations committed by one privileged party over the other would not be a way of accounting for human rights,” she pleaded.
kyiv furious against the NGO
The report, published in the context of the Russian offensive in Ukraine launched on February 24, provoked the ire of the Ukrainian authorities. President Volodymyr Zelensky said on the evening of August 4 in his daily video statement that this report puts “the victim and the aggressor in a way on an equal footing”. The Head of State went so far as to accuse Amnesty International of “attempting to grant amnesty to the Russian terrorist state”.
In the report in question, the result of a four-month investigation, the NGO accused the Ukrainian army of establishing military bases in schools and hospitals and launching attacks from populated areas, a tactic that violates , according to her, international humanitarian law. “Being in a defensive position does not exempt the Ukrainian army from respecting international humanitarian law,” the NGO stressed. Furthermore, while Amnesty denounces these Ukrainian tactics, it insists that they “in no way justify the attacks […] blind” that she attributes to the Russian army.
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