The landmark rulings against Poland by the European Court of Human Rights on July 24, 2014, underscore the need for wider European accountability for involvement in US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) counterterrorism abuses. The court ruled Poland was complicit in the rendition, secret detention, and torture of two terrorism suspects.
Unguided Grad rockets launched apparently by Ukrainian government forces and pro-government militias have killed at least 16 civilians and wounded many more in insurgent-controlled areas of Donetsk and its suburbs in at least four attacks between July 12 and 21, 2014.
The Russian government has branded five prominent independent groups as “foreign agents.” The government’s actions are part of its biggest crackdown on the rights to free expression and association in Russia since the end of the Soviet era.
Ukrainian authorities have not provided adequate protection and assistance to tens of thousands of Ukrainians who were forced to flee their homes, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to President Petro Poroshenko. People have fled because of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the ongoing armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.
In early March 2013 the Russian government launched an unprecedented, nationwide campaign of inspections of thousands of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to identify advocacy groups the government deems “foreign agents” and force them to register as such. This list tracks the legal consequences of the law on dozens of NGOs.
I am writing on behalf of Human Rights Watch to ask that the Ukrainian government urgently intensify efforts to protect the tens of thousands of Ukrainians who have been forced to flee their homes in Crimea and in eastern Ukraine. We fully recognize that the government has had to cope with multiple, profound crises in a short period of time, not least of which have been the armed insurrection in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions and Russia’s occupation of Crimea. But as the number of people forced from their homes continues to grow, so also does the urgency of finding sustainable solutions for them.
Ukrainian forces and insurgent armed groups are bound by customary international humanitarian law to take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians and civilian objects and to refrain from attacks that fail to discriminate between combatants and civilians, or would cause disproportionate harm to the civilian population.