GENEVA / UKRAINE HRC

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A United Nations report on the human rights situation in Ukraine says that national and international help is urgently needed to cope with what could become a humanitarian emergency in the country.  UNTV CH
Description

STORY: GENEVA / UKRAINE HRC
TRT: 3.48
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 23 SEPTEMBER 2014, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

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Shotlist

1. Exterior of Palais des Nations
2. Wide shots of Human Rights Council meeting room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Ivan Šimonović, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights:
“Over the last six months, we have witnessed a marked deterioration of the human rights situation in the east and most recently south east of the country. The current registered death toll, as at 21 September, is 3,543, if we are to include the 298 victims of the Malaysian plane crash. Let me add that this number covers killings registered by available resources, and that the actual number is likely to be significantly higher. Our reports have shown a sharp rise in killings, in particular between mid-July and the end of August. Between mid-April and mid-July, the period covered by our first four reports, our human rights monitors registered an average of at least 11 persons being killed daily. Between mid-July and mid-August the figure had more than tripled to an average of 36 persons killed a day. This number continued to increase since the cut-off date of the report. By the 5 September ceasefire, on average 42 people were killed every day. After the signing of the ceasefire agreement on 5 September, we have witnessed a marked decrease in killings, on a daily average of under 10 killings a day.”
4. Close up, Ukraine delegate
5. SOUNDBITE (English) – Ivan Šimonović, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights:
“In areas where the Government has restored control, it is crucial to fully and impartially investigate allegations of human rights abuses and violations perpetrated by both armed groups as well as its own forces, especially volunteer battalions. Many victims are still afraid to come forward, due to fears of reprisals. From mid-April to 16 August, more than 1,000 persons were detained by the police and the Ukrainian security service in the Donbas territory. These persons, as all other persons in Ukraine, have the right to due process and equality before the law. In that context, the new counter-terrorism laws are a matter of concern. The laws substantially expand the authority of the prosecutor and lengthen the time of preventive detention from 60 hours to 30 days. This is inconsistent with international human rights standards.”
6. Med shot, Russian delegate
7. SOUNDBITE (English) – Ivan Šimonović, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights:
“A disastrous winter for the IDP population has to be prevented. It will be important to ensure that national and international assistance is mobilised urgently to cope with what could become a humanitarian emergency.”
8. Wide shot, Human Rights Council meeting room
9. Close up, Ukraine delegate
10. Wide shot, Human Rights Council meeting room

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Storyline

A United Nations report on the human rights situation in Ukraine says that national and international help is urgently needed to cope with what could become a humanitarian emergency in the country.

Presenting the report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Ivan Šimonović, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, said that a disastrous winter awaits thousands of people who have been forced to flee their homes in Ukraine unless help arrives soon.

The report covered the period from 21 November 2013 to 5 September 2014 and combines information on key human rights developments and concerns from five reports issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) between 15 April and 29 August 2014, using information from the United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

The report said that armed conflict in eastern Ukraine has led to a dramatic increase in the number of internally displaced people (IDPs), with about half the population of Luhansk and one third of the population of Donetsk having fled.

In one month, between early August and early September, the number of registered displaced people doubled. As of 18 September, 275,498 people were registered as IDPs. However, the actual number of unregistered internally displaced people may be two to three times higher. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), around 378,000 people have crossed the border into the Russian Federation in recent months.

Šimonović said that, as of 21 September, the registered death toll from the crisis in Ukraine was 3,543, which includes the 298 victims of the Malaysian plane crash. He said this number covers killings registered only by available sources and that the actual number is likely to be significantly higher.

The report showed a sharp rise in killings, in particular between mid-July and the end of August. Between mid-April and mid-July, human rights monitors registered that at least 11 people, on average, were being killed every day.

Between mid-July and mid-August that figure had more than tripled to an average of 36 people being killed each day. By the 5 September ceasefire an average of 42 people were killed every day. After the signing of the ceasefire agreement, there has been a marked decrease in killings, with the daily average now below 10 killings a day.

The report also said that the Ukrainian Government must ensure that all allegations of human rights abuses and violations are fully investigated and that all international human rights norms and standards, including the presumption of innocence, due process and judicial guarantees, are strictly adhered to with regard to violations committed by both armed groups and the Ukrainian military or their volunteer battalions. It says that perpetrators of serious violations of international law during the conflict must be brought to justice in order to guarantee individual accountability for actions, including in cases of command responsibility.

Šimonović said that many victims of human rights abuses by both government and armed groups are afraid to come forward for fear of reprisals.

He also said that everyone in Ukraine has the right to due process and equality before the law and added that, in that context, the new counter-terrorism laws are a matter of concern.

The laws substantially expand the authority of the prosecutor and lengthen the time of preventive detention from 60 hours to 30 days, which Šimonović noted it is inconsistent with international human rights standards.

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UNTV CH
Subject Topical
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