The US State Department released its annual report on the status of human rights in the world.
Out of almost 200 countries reviewed in the first report by the new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, some of the harshest criticism is directed towards Russia, which contrasts sharply with the largely reconciliatory rhetoric of US President Donald Trump with respect to Moscow and his avoidance of public statements about human rights in Russia or anywhere else in the world.
In the section devoted to Ukraine, most of the violations of human rights took place in connection with the conflict in the Donbas and the occupation of the Crimea.
“Russian-backed separatists in the Donbas engaged in abductions, torture, and unlawful detention, employed child soldiers, stifled dissent, and restricted humanitarian aid,” the report states. It reports similar abuse from the government forces, but to a lesser extent.
A subsection of the Ukrainian part of the report is devoted to the occupation of the Crimea. There in particular it talks about significant violations of human rights on the peninsula directly related to the Russian occupation.
“Russian security services engaged in an extensive campaign of intimidation to suppress dissent and opposition to the occupation that employed kidnappings, disappearances, physical abuse, political prosecution, repeated interviews, and interrogations by security forces… Occupation authorities deprived members of certain groups, particularly ethnic Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars, of fundamental civil liberties, including the freedom to express their nationality and ethnicity, subjecting them to systematic discrimination” the Crimean part of the report states.
According to the report, the Ukrainian authorities have problems with the judicial system, which violates human rights. “...authorities took few steps to investigate or prosecute officials or individuals who committed human rights abuses, creating an atmosphere of impunity and lawlessness”, the State Department noted.
The document also mentions that international human rights organizations and the UN noted “significant deficiencies in investigations into human rights abuses committed by government security forces”.
The US State Department releases such a report annually with a representation of the status of human rights throughout the entire world. It reviews the situation in almost 200 countries or territories.