UN human rights chief calls for dialogue to end unrest in UkraineListen /
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is calling for dialogue to avoid further escalation of unrest in Ukraine.
Thousands of people in the capital, Kiev have been demonstrating since November against what they see as the government's rejection of integration with the European Union.
Protests have continued even after the government introduced new laws to curtail the activities of civil society, including the freedom of association, assembly and expression.
Ravina Shamdasani is a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.
"The High Commissioner is very concerned about the violent clashes that have taken place over the past few days in central Kiev. Reportedly a lot of people have been injured and, of course, this is very worrying. She is calling on the opposition leaders to clearly distance themselves from the supporters who are resorting to violence. And while she fully recognizes the State's legitimate duty to protect against violence, it is important that law enforcement officials, while they are trying to contain the protest, carry out their duties in line with relevant international human rights norms." (29")
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has noted that authorities in Ukraine have renewed efforts to initiate dialogue with opposition leaders.
She has recommended that the dialogue be inclusive and sustained over time.
Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.