World Bulletin / News Desk
While at least 6,417 people have been killed in more than 13 months of fighting in eastern Ukraine, serious human rights violations and abuses persisted in the region, the UN said on Monday in a report.
Between mid-April 2014 and May 2015, at least 6,417 people have been killed - an increase of at least 300 people since its last report in mid-April 2015 - and 15,962 others were wounded in the conflict zone of eastern Ukraine, the report said.
"This is a conservative estimate and the actual numbers could be considerably higher," noted the tenth report of the UN Human Rights Office on Ukraine, which covers the period from Feb. 16 to May 15 2015.
"More than 1.2 million people internally displaced since the beginning of the conflict suffer from impeded access to healthcare, housing and employment," the report indicated.
"Serious human rights violations and abuses [...] persist in eastern Ukraine, including shelling, executions, arbitrary and illegal detentions, torture, ill-treatment, human trafficking and the lack of justice and accountability, as well as deprivation of economic and social rights that are deeply affecting the five million people living in the conflict-affected areas," said the report.
Residents of the territories controlled by the armed groups continue to be increasingly isolated from the rest of Ukraine and suffer from a lack of protection in the absence of the rule of law, the report said.
"Even with the decrease in hostilities, civilians continue to be killed and wounded," the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a statement.
Russia denies claims that it is supporting separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine despite evidence that Russian troops are operating across the border and that attacks have been launched on Ukrainian troops from Russian soil.
In Crimea, "serious human rights abuses, intimidation and harassment of the local population perpetrated by the armed groups continued to be reported," said Ivan Simonovic, assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, speaking at the press conference at UN in Geneva on Monday.
The UN has received "new allegations of killings, torture and ill-treatment, as well as cases of illegal deprivation of liberty, forced labour, looting, ransom demands and extortion of money on the territories controlled by the armed groups," he stated.
"Harassment and arrests of Crimean Tatars[...] continued," the report said.
"A ‘court’ ordered corrective labour for three Crimean activists after they unfurled a Ukrainian flag with the inscription “Crimea is Ukraine” during an authorized rally to commemorate the anniversary of the national poet Taras Shevchenko," the report said.
"Control of the media in Crimea was tightened. At least seven media outlets using Crimean Tatar language, including a TV station and a newspaper, which are most popular among the Crimean Tatar community, were denied re-registration under the law of the Russian Federation and have ceased operating," the report said.
The report said "Only 51 religious communities currently have a legal status under the law of the Russian Federation compared to over 1,400 under the law of Ukraine before the March 2014 'referendum'."
The Crimean peninsula was annexed by Russia in a controversial referendum in 2014Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Haziran 2015, 21:55