Ukraine report highlights a reign of fear and terror in eastern regionsListen /
A new United Nations report on the situation in Ukraine details the breakdown in law and order in areas held by armed groups in the east of the country and identifies a number of 'worrying trends' emerging in Crimea.
The report, the third produced by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission, covers the period from the 7th of May to the 7th of June. It found that the numbers of armed gangs in the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk has increased, with daily life there becoming more and more of a challenge for ordinary people. Official figures state that nearly 13,000 people have already fled the violence and fighting in these areas but the real figure is believed to be considerably higher and increasing daily.
Gianni Magazzeni, Chief of the Americas, Europe and Central Asia Department of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, oversees the work of the Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. He says that there's an atmosphere of intimidation in the broader population in Donetsk and Luhansk.
"We're talking about a breakdown in law and order, we're talking about a reign of fear, if not a reign of terror in those pocket areas where armed groups can abduct, detain, conduct ill treatment if not torture, sexual assault, intimidation and threats." (19″)
The report says that the situation of all residents in Crimea has deteriorated with regard to their right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, association, religion or belief, adding that those who are known for their 'Pro-Ukrainian' stance are intimidated and face increasing discrimination.
Nicki Chadwick, United Nations, Geneva.