OHCHR / UKRAINE HUMAN RIGHTS MISSION

15-Nov-2022 00:03:27
The head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, Matilda Bogner, told reporters in Geneva that over the past several months, they had interviewed 159 prisoners of war whom the Russian Federation held, and 175 prisoners of war held by Ukraine. UNTV CH
Size
Format
Acquire
N/A
Hi-Res formats
DESCRIPTION
STORY: OHCHR / UKRAINE HUMAN RIGHTS MISSION
TRT: 03:27
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS
DATELINE: 15 NOVEMBER 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE
SHOTLIST
RECENT - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, exterior, Palais des Nations

15 NOVEMBER 2022 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot podium
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Matilda Bogner, Head, Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine: “Immediately upon capture, some were beaten or had their personal belongings pillaged. The prisoners of war were then transported to places of internment in a manner that raises concerns. They were often taken in overcrowded trucks or buses and sometimes lacked access to water or toilets for more than a day. Their hands were tied and eyes covered so tightly with duct tape that it left wounds on their wrists and faces”.
4. Press briefing room monitor
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Matilda Bogner, Head, Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine: “The vast majority of those we interviewed told us that during their internment, they were tortured and ill-treated. Torture and ill-treatment were not only used to coerce prisoners of war to give military information or statements about alleged crimes. They were, interviewees said, used on a daily basis to intimidate and humiliate them.”
6. Med shot journalist
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Matilda Bogner, Head, Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine: “The overall conditions of internment are dire. Ukrainian prisoners of war told us about overcrowded cells, poor hygiene, and lack of food and water. Some of them lost up to a quarter of their body weight, and many frequently fainted in captivity.”
8. Close up journalist
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Matilda Bogner, Head, Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine: “We documented cases of torture and ill-treatment, mostly when people were captured, first interrogated, or moved to transit camps and places of internment. In some cases, Russian prisoners of war (from Russian armed forces and affiliated armed groups) said they were punched and kicked in the face and body after surrendering and when they were interrogated by members of the Ukrainian armed forces”.
10. Close up, journalists
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Matilda Bogner, Head, Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“Many reported poor and often humiliating conditions of their evacuation to transit camps and places of internment. Often naked, they were packed into trucks or minivans, with their hands tied behind their backs”.
12. Close up, hands
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Matilda Bogner, Head, Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“With regard to accountability, we note that Ukraine has launched a number of criminal investigations following allegations of abuse of prisoners of war by members of its armed forces. We await progress in these cases”.
14. Wide shot briefing room
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Matilda Bogner, Head, Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“The prohibition of torture and ill-treatment is absolute, even – indeed especially- in times of armed conflict. The prevention of torture starts with ensuring that independent monitors have access to detainees. The Russian Federation must allow - on a regular basis - full, confidential, and unimpeded access to prisoners of war, in particular in their places of internment. I renew our call on the Russian authorities to promptly do so.”
16. Med shot, journalists
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Matilda Bogner, Head, Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine:
“Accountability is also key to deterring and preventing further violations. I reiterate that the parties to the conflict have clear legal obligations to investigate and prosecute all allegations of violations of international humanitarian law in relation to the treatment of prisoners of war within their control, regardless of their affiliation. Both parties must do so fairly, promptly, and impartially.”
18. Various shots, press conference
STORYLINE
Speaking at the biweekly press briefing in Geneva on Tuesday (15 Nov), Matilda Bogner, the head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, said that over the past several months, they had interviewed 159 prisoners of war (139 men and 20 women) who were held by the Russian Federation (including by affiliated armed groups), and 175 prisoners of war (all men) held by Ukraine.

Bogner emphasized that it was important that Ukraine gave her team confidential access to prisoners of war in places of internment, where they spoke to them.

The Russian Federation did not grant such access, and they conducted interviews with Ukrainian prisoners of war upon their release.

She said it was also crucial to note that the fundamental obligation of a state is to always treat all prisoners of war in their power humanely - from the very moment they are captured until their release and repatriation.

Both Ukraine and the Russian Federation are parties to the Third Geneva Convention that sets requirements relative to the treatment of prisoners of war.

The Mission’s findings are based on information mainly received through confidential interviews with prisoners of war and with witnesses and relatives of servicepersons.

Bogner described the treatment of former Ukrainian prisoners of war who were in the hands of the Russian Federation.

“Immediately upon capture, some were beaten or had their personal belongings pillaged. The prisoners of war were then transported to places of internment in a manner that raises concerns. They were often taken in overcrowded trucks or buses and sometimes lacked access to water or toilets for more than a day. Their hands were tied and eyes covered so tightly with duct tape that it left wounds on their wrists and faces,” she said.

“The vast majority of those we interviewed told us that during their internment, they were tortured and ill-treated. Torture and ill-treatment were not only used to coerce prisoners of war to give military information or statements about alleged crimes. They were, interviewees said, used on a daily basis to intimidate and humiliate them,” Bogner added.

Bogner said prisoners described being shot with a stun gun, threatened with mock executions, hung by the hands and legs, and burned with cigarettes.

The Mission also documented various forms of sexual violence, such as pulling a male victim by a rope tied around his genitalia or forced nudity combined with the threat of rape.

Among those interviewed were 20 women prisoners of war after being released from the penal colony near Olenivka and other facilities in Donetsk and the Russian Federation.

In the colony near Olenivka, women prisoners of war were not subjected to physical violence but described being psychologically tormented by the screams of male prisoners of war being tortured in nearby cells.

However, several other women recount being beaten, electrocuted, and threatened with sexual violence during interrogations in other locations.

They were also subjected to degrading treatment that amounted to sexual violence, like being forced to run naked from one room to another in the presence of male guards.

“The overall conditions of internment are dire. Ukrainian prisoners of war told us about overcrowded cells, poor hygiene, and lack of food and water. Some of them lost up to a quarter of their body weight, and many frequently fainted in captivity,” Bogner said.

On the treatment of prisoners of war interned by the Government of Ukraine, Bogner said they had received credible allegations of summary executions of persons hors de combat and several cases of torture and ill-treatment, reportedly committed by members of the Ukrainian armed forces.

“We documented cases of torture and ill-treatment, mostly when people were captured, first interrogated, or moved to transit camps and places of internment. In some cases, Russian prisoners of war (from Russian armed forces and affiliated armed groups) said they were punched and kicked in the face and body after surrendering and when they were interrogated by members of the Ukrainian armed forces,” she said.

In several cases, prisoners of war were stabbed or given electric shocks with the ‘TAPik’ military phone by Ukrainian law enforcement officers or military personnel guarding them.

“Many reported poor and often humiliating conditions of their evacuation to transit camps and places of internment. Often naked, they were packed into trucks or minivans, with their hands tied behind their backs,” Bogner said.

The Human rights Monitoring Mission also documented cases of ill-treatment of Russian prisoners of war in a penal colony in Dnipropetrovska region and several pre-trial facilities, including so-called ‘welcome beatings.’

The Mission also received allegations of extended internment in informal detention places, such as guardhouses' basements or military headquarters.

“With regard to accountability, we note that Ukraine has launched a number of criminal investigations following allegations of abuse of prisoners of war by members of its armed forces. We await progress in these cases,” Bogner highlighted.

She expressed continued concern that Ukraine continues to prosecute members of Russian-affiliated armed groups, Ukrainian nationals, for membership in those armed groups. In international armed conflicts, the prosecution of combatants for mere participation in hostilities is prohibited by international humanitarian law.

Bogner reiterated the fundamental obligation of states to treat all prisoners of war in their power humanely at all times.

“The prohibition of torture and ill-treatment is absolute, even – indeed especially- in times of armed conflict. The prevention of torture starts with ensuring that independent monitors have access to detainees. The Russian Federation must allow - on a regular basis - full, confidential, and unimpeded access to prisoners of war, in particular in their places of internment. I renew our call on the Russian authorities to promptly do so,” Bogner added.

“Accountability is also key to deterring and preventing further violations. I reiterate that the parties to the conflict have clear legal obligations to investigate and prosecute all allegations of violations of international humanitarian law in relation to the treatment of prisoners of war within their control, regardless of their affiliation. Both parties must do so fairly, promptly, and impartially,” she concluded.
Category
Topical Subjects
Geographic Subjects
Source
Alternate Title
unifeed221115b