GENEVA / UKRAINE HRC

12-May-2022 00:03:37
A special session of the UN Human Rights Council met on Thursday in Geneva, prompted by increasing concern over atrocities against civilians linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. UNTV CH
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STORY: GENEVA / GENEVA / UKRAINE HRC
TRT: 03:37
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / FRENCH / SPANISH / NATS

DATELINE: 12 MAY 2022 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND 
SHOTLIST
1. Close up, UN flag alley, UN Geneva, exterior
2. Wide shot, UN Human Rights Council meeting
3. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Federico Villegas, President, Human Rights Council:
“I understand the Russian Federation is not in the room…in that case, I will give the floor to the representative of Ukraine.”
[“Tengo entendido que la Federación de Rusia no está en la sala…por lo tanto, tiene la palabra entonces la distinguida representante de Ucrania.”]
4. Med shot, TV screen, delegates
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Emine Dzheppar, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ukraine:
“These have been ten weeks of sheer horror to the people of my country. Ten weeks of time of deep suffering for every Ukrainian family without exception.”
6. Med shot, Ukrainian delegates, TV screen, Dzheppar
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Emine Dzheppar, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ukraine:
“Children raped in front of their mothers like the 11-year-old boy who was raped in front of his mother; he actually lost the ability to speak after, and the only way how he communicates with the world are the black lines, and this is the first picture that he drew working with a group of psychologists who are trying to help him recover.”
8. Close up, Ukraine delegate, TV screen
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“The scale of unlawful killings, including indications of summary executions in areas to the north of Kyiv, is shocking. While we have information about 300 such killings, the figures will continue to increase as new evidence becomes available.”
10. Med wide shot, delegates, UN Human Rights Council meeting
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“These killings of civilians often appeared to be intentional, carried out by snipers and soldiers. Civilians were killed when crossing the road or leaving their shelters to seek food and water. Others were killed as they fled in their vehicles.”
12. Med wide shot, cameramen, delegates
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“In the village of Katiuzhanka, Kyiv region, a young couple, their 14-year-old daughter, and a grandfather were shot by Russian soldiers while trying to drive to their house. The parents were killed, while the child received two gunshot wounds.”
14. Wide shot, Human Rights Council, delegates
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Victor Madrigal-Borloz, Chair, Coordination Committee of Special Procedures: “Colleagues had also noted with serious concern reports of people of African descent and racial and ethnic minorities being subjected to discriminatory treatment as they flee Ukraine.”
16. Med shot, delegates
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Victor Madrigal-Borloz, Chair, Coordination Committee of Special Procedures:
“My colleagues referred to numerous reports that journalists are being targeted, tortured, kidnapped, attacked and killed, or refused safe passage from the cities and regions under siege.”
18. Wide shot, visitors
19. SOUNDBITE (English) Erik Mose, Chair, Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine:
“While not a strictly judicial instance, one of the Commission's tasks is to identify, where possible, individuals and entities responsible for violations or abuses of human rights or of international humanitarian law, or other related crimes.”
20. Med shot, empty chairs of Russian delegation
21. SOUNDBITE (French) Jerome Bonnafont, Ambassador, Permanent Representative, France:
Mister President, we have said it before, and we repeat: there is one aggressor in this war, it is Russia; it is not NATO, nor Europe, nor Ukraine. Today, let us demonstrate the international community’s solidarity with the people of Ukraine and all those affected by the consequences of the Russian aggression. Thank you.”
[“Monsieur le Président nous l’avons dit et nous le répétons : il y a un agresseur dans cette guerre, c’est la Russie, ce n’est ni l’OTAN, ni l’Europe ni l’Ukraine. Manifestons aujourd’hui la solidarité de la communauté internationale avec le people ukrainien, et tous ceux qui sont touchés par les conséquences de l’agression russe. Je vous remercie.”]
22. Wide shot, UN Human Rights Council meeting
23. Med shot, UN Human Rights Council meeting, delegates
24. Med shot, empty chairs of Russian delegation
25. Med shot, delegate of the United States
STORYLINE
A special session of the UN Human Rights Council met on Thursday (12 May) in Geneva, prompted by increasing concern over atrocities against civilians linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

Reiterating her alarm at the mounting number of reports and testimonies of possible war crimes in Ukraine, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that the pattern of abuses continued to be caused “by the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas, such as shelling from heavy artillery, including multiple launch rocket systems, and missile and airstrikes.”

These incidents were attributable to both Russian and Ukrainian forces, although Russia was likely responsible for most victims, the UN rights chief said in a video message.

Highlighting the latest harrowing findings of UN investigators in the Kyiv and Cherniviv regions, Bachelet told the forum that 1,000 civilian bodies had been found in the Kyiv region alone. Some had been killed in hostilities, but others appeared to have been summarily executed.

“These killings of civilians often appeared to be intentional, carried out by snipers and soldiers. Civilians were killed when crossing the road or leaving their shelters to seek food and water. Others were killed as they fled in their vehicles.”

She added: “In the village of Katiuzhanka, Kyiv region, a young couple, their 14-year-old daughter, and a grandfather were shot by Russian soldiers while trying to drive to their house. The parents were killed, while the child received two gunshot wounds.”

Still, others died because of stress to their health caused by hostilities and the lack of medical aid, the High Commissioner continued, describing how people had been forced to spend weeks in basements because they were threatened by Russian soldiers “with abuse or death” if they tried to leave.

Following Bachelet’s remarks and noting that “the Russian Federation is not in the room,” Federico Villegas, President of the Human Rights Council, gave the floor to Emine Dzheppar, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

Russia’s absence followed its suspension from the Council by the UN General Assembly last month.

As a concerned country, Russia could nonetheless have participated in the proceedings, at which the Member States were due to consider a draft resolution calling for an end to the war and ongoing international support for accountability for its victims, many of whom continue to endure an ongoing humanitarian emergency.

“These have been ten weeks of sheer horror to the people of my country,” said the Ukrainian representative. “Ten weeks of time of deep suffering for every Ukrainian family without exception.”

Addressing the Council from Kyiv and holding up a sheet of paper showing a dark mass of thick black lines that had been drawn by a victim of sexual violence, Dzheppar alleged that children had been “raped in front of their mothers, like the 11-year-old boy who was raped in front of his mother; he actually lost the ability to speak after, and the only way how he communicates with the world are the black lines, and this is the first picture that he drew working with a group of psychologists who are trying to help him recover.”

Since the beginning of the Ukraine war, UN-appointed independent rights experts known as Special Procedures have highlighted deep concerns over violations of international humanitarian law.

These include an alert over the apparent ill-treatment of some of the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers and foreign nationals in Ukraine.

“Colleagues had also noted with serious concern reports of people of African descent and racial and ethnic minorities being subjected to discriminatory treatment as they flee Ukraine,” said Chair of the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures, Victor Madrigal-Borloz, insisting that “the lives of all people of Ukraine are in danger, including ethnic, national, linguistic and religious minorities.”

The conflict had affected regions where different ethnic groups had lived together for years, the rights expert continued before issuing a fresh alert over the dangers of reporting on the war: “My colleagues referred to numerous reports that journalists are being targeted, tortured, kidnapped, attacked and killed, or refused safe passage from the cities and regions under siege.”

The special session – the Council’s 34th since it began work in 2006 – also featured an early update from the top rights probe into abuses in Ukraine that was set up in March at the request of a majority of the forum’s members.

“While not a strictly judicial instance, one of the Commission's tasks is to identify, where possible, individuals and entities responsible for violations or abuses of human rights or of international humanitarian law, or other related crimes,” said Erik Mose, Chair of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine.

Among the countries expressing solidarity for Ukraine, French Ambassador Jerome Bonnafont reiterated his country’s condemnation of the Russian invasion of its neighbour: “We have said it before, and we repeat: there is one aggressor in this war, it is Russia; it is not NATO, nor Europe, nor Ukraine. Today, let us demonstrate the international community’s solidarity with the people of Ukraine and all those affected by the consequences of the Russian aggression.”
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