Ukraine faces deteriorating human rights situation, says UN top official

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Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, UN Photo/Sarah Fretwell

The human rights situation in eastern Ukraine has worsened, according to the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights.

Ivan Šimonović on Wednesday briefed the press on developments in Ukraine, which he had discussed earlier in the Security Council behind closed doors.

The uprising in the east of Ukraine has gathered pace after Russia annexed the autonomous Ukrainian region of Crimea in March.

Mr Šimonović described the situation as deteriorating.

“Main findings are that [the] human rights situation in the east of [the] country has worsened. There are more arms being used as well as numerous violations being committed. As a result of violence in the east and south of the country, 127 people have died.”  (23″)

The Assistant Secretary-General added that during his visit to Ukraine from 14 to 19 May, he discussed humanitarian and human rights de-escalation measures with both sides.

He also noted there is a serious danger of breakup of social services, which are currently facing shortages of some medicine.

If the situation were to further deteriorate, Mr Šimonović said, there is a great likelihood there will be a wave of people forced to flee their homes in the east of the country.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’22″

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