UN: trial of Ukrainian prisoners in Mariupol can be qualified as a war crime

UN: trial of Ukrainian prisoners in Mariupol can be qualified as a war crime

UN: trial of Ukrainian prisoners in Mariupol could be qualified as a war crime

OHCHR representative Ravina Shamdasani (file photo)   UN: trial of Ukrainian prisoners in Mariupol can be qualified as a war crimeThe Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed concern about the plans of the Russian authorities and the self-proclaimed DPR authorities controlled by them to arrange a trial of Ukrainian prisoners of war in Mariupol, presumably in the coming days. OHCHR representative Ravina Shamdasani stated this at a briefing in Geneva.

“We are concerned by reports that the Russian Federation and its affiliated armed groups in Donetsk are planning to try Ukrainian prisoners of war by the so-called “international tribunal” in Mariupol.” , – the OHCHR statement says.

“We do not have all the information, however, photographs and video materials published in the media and social networks show that metal cages are being built at the Mariupol Philharmonic, apparently to keep prisoners of war during the trial,” the document says further.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recalls that under international law, persons with the status of prisoners of war have immunity and cannot be held accountable for participating in hostilities during an armed conflict. They should also not be tried for “lawful acts committed in a conflict, even if such acts may be considered a crime, according to local laws.”

The OHCHR statement also emphasizes that “if prisoners of war are charged with crimes, they are entitled to due process and fair trial guarantees. They can only be sentenced by a legal court.”

OHCHR notes that “international humanitarian law prohibits the establishment of courts specifically for the trial of prisoners of war, and the willful deprivation of prisoners of war of the right to a fair trial, qualifies as a war crime.”

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is also concerned that “independent observers do not have access to Ukrainian prisoners of war, which puts them at risk of being tortured to extract a confession. Russian officials and members of armed groups affiliated with him have repeatedly referred to Ukrainian prisoners of war as “war criminals”, “Nazis”. and “terrorists”, thereby undermining the principle of the presumption of innocence.”

OHCHR again called on the Russian authorities to grant independent monitors full access to all persons detained in connection with the armed conflict in Ukraine, including those held on the territory of the self-proclaimed DNR and LNR.