Human rights assessment team arrives in Ukraine

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Ivan Šimonović

A senior UN human rights official has arrived in Ukraine to conduct a "preliminary assessment" of the situation following developments in the country since November last year.

During his eight-day visit UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović plans to meet authorities as well as civil society organisations in Kiev, Lviv, Kharkiv and Simferopol.

The turmoil in Ukraine started when thousands of people staged protests in Kiev to press for integration with the European Union.

Rupert Colville is a spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR.

"Mr Šimonović, OHCHR's most senior human rights official in New York, will seek to identify existing and potential human rights challenges and to advocate for the protection of human rights, including those of minorities, as well as for accountability for recent human rights violations."

Mr Šimonović will present a report with recommendations for follow-up actions to the High Commissioner upon his return.

Meanwhile, tensions remain high in the Ukrainian region of Crimea, where Russian troops have been deployed.

The deployment follows a decision by the Crimean parliament to secede from Ukraine and become part of the Russian Federation.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration:  1’17″

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