War in Ukraine | Displacement of civilians ‘probably constitutes crimes against humanity’

(Paris) Russia likely committed “crimes against humanity” by forcibly transferring to its territory or to areas under the control of pro-Russian separatists Ukrainian civilians from areas its troops occupied in Ukraine, Amnesty International charged Thursday. .

Posted at 7:16 p.m.

“Children have been separated from their families […] in violation of international humanitarian law”, denounced the human rights NGO, based on the testimonies of 88 Ukrainians, almost all of whom then joined Ukraine or European countries.

“Separating children from their families and forcing people to move hundreds of kilometers from their homes is further proof of the serious suffering that the Russian invasion has inflicted on Ukrainian civilians”, reacted Agnès Callamard , secretary general of Amnesty, in a press release accompanying a long report published on Thursday.

“The deplorable Russian tactic of forcible transfer and deportation constitutes a war crime. Amnesty International believes it must be investigated as a crime against humanity,” she added.

Civilians interviewed by the NGO described “abusive selection processes” in so-called “filtering” camps, which sometimes resulted in arbitrary detention, ill-treatment and even torture.

In one case, a woman was separated from her 11-year-old son during this process, then placed in detention, without ever seeing her child again, affirms Amnesty, whose majority of the interlocutors came from Mariupol, martyr city of the South-East razed to the ground. 90% by the Russians. Others came from the regions of Kharkiv and Luhansk (east), Kherson and Zaporijjia (south).

“Most of them, especially those from Mariupol, described coercive conditions that meant they had no choice but to travel to Russia or Russian-occupied areas,” the official said. report. These transfers “probably constitute crimes against humanity”.

Once in Russia, several people said they felt pressured to apply for Russian citizenship.

Amnesty International angered Ukraine in August by accusing its army of endangering civilians in its resistance to the Russian invasion by installing military infrastructure in populated areas. Despite virulent criticism from Kyiv and many international analysts, the NGO had “fully maintained its conclusions”.

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