OHCHR / UKRAINE TURK HRC

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UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk spoke of his outrage at the impact of war on civilians, in a statement on Ukraine to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. OHCHR / UNTV CH
Description

STORY: OHCHR / UKRAINE TURK HRC
TRT: 04:52
SOURCE: OHCHR / UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 09 JULY 2024 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE

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Shotlist

FILE - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, exterior Palais des Nations

09 JULY 2024 GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, Human Rights Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: “Yesterday’s massive missile attacks across Ukraine, including the horrifying strike on Okhmatdyt, Ukraine’s largest children’s referral hospital, once again lay bare the disastrous consequences of the war waged against Ukraine by the Russian Federation.”
4. Wide shot, Human Rights Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: “I am outraged by the sight of children, already so vulnerable in war, suffering the terror of attack while receiving medical treatment. Appallingly, we see this again and again, not just in Ukraine, but also in Gaza, Sudan, and elsewhere. Our common humanity is lost in such instances.”
6. Wide shot, Human Rights Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: “It begs the question again and again why the dangerous ideology of past centuries is back with such a vengeance. After all that happened in the 20th century and with the founding of the United Nations, we would have thought the world had overcome such atavistic and perilous thinking.”
6. Wide shot, Human Rights Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: “These relentless, daily attacks across the country continue to aggravate the human rights situation of civilians, causing physical harm, destroying homes and infrastructure, and ripping families apart,” the High Commissioner said.
8. Wide shot, Human Rights Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: “Coordinated, large-scale attacks by the Russian Federation against Ukraine’s critical energy infrastructure, deployed through eight major waves since 22 March, have been the most extensive since the winter of 2022/2023. Such attacks must stop immediately.”
10. Wide shot, Human Rights Council
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: “But the worst is possibly yet to come, as energy companies and the Ukrainian authorities caution that repeated strikes have reduced the ability to make the necessary repairs to heat homes during winter. Again, senseless suffering.”
12. Wide shot, Human Rights Council
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: “Recently released Ukrainian prisoners of war have provided detailed accounts of torture, ill-treatment, and sexual violence. They described brutal beatings, prolonged stress positions, electric shocks and beatings to genitals, dog attacks, and severe food deprivation. Based on interviews with over 600 released Ukrainian civilian detainees and POWs torture in places of detention run by the Russian Federation is widespread. This is abominable.”
14. Wide shot, Human Rights Council
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: “My Office also continued to document the torture and ill-treatment of Russian POWs after capture and while in transit to official places of internment, including beatings and electric shocks. According to our information, the torture of Russian POWs ceased when the POWs arrived in official places of internment. The Ukrainian authorities need to investigate these instances and ensure the treatment of POWs at every stage is in line with international law.”
14. Wide shot, Human Rights Council
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: “I reiterate that children deported or transferred to the Russian Federation must be returned immediately. I urge the Russian Federation to provide information to the Central Tracing Agency about all children moved from occupied territory and to facilitate their return to their families.”
16. Wide shot, Human Rights Council
17. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: “The pursuit of war – the practice of escalation - cannot become the new normal.”
18. Wide shot, Human Rights Council
19. SOUNDBITE (English) Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: “ War is the worst enemy of human rights. It is an aberration, not just in the current context, but also everywhere else. It has to be shunned and peace must be found in line with the UN Charter and international law.That is the most fervent wish of Ukrainians, thank you”
20. Wide shot, Human Rights Council

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Storyline

UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk today (9 Jun) spoke of his outrage at the impact of war on civilians, in a statement on Ukraine to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

“Yesterday’s massive missile attacks across Ukraine, including the horrifying strike on Okhmatdyt, Ukraine’s largest children’s referral hospital, once again lay bare the disastrous consequences of the war waged against Ukraine by the Russian Federation,” Türk said.

“I am outraged by the sight of children, already so vulnerable in war, suffering the terror of attack while receiving medical treatment, be it in Ukraine, Gaza, Sudan, or anywhere else. We must not lose the sense of our common humanity when confronted with the ugly face of war,” he said.

“It begs the question again and again why the dangerous ideology of past centuries is back with such a vengeance. After all that happened in the 20th Century and with the founding of the United Nations, we would have thought the world had overcome such atavistic and perilous thinking,” Türk said

“These relentless, daily attacks across the country continue to aggravate the human rights situation of civilians, causing physical harm, destroying homes and infrastructure, and ripping families apart,”the High Commissioner said.

May saw the highest monthly verified civilian casualty number in nearly a year, with 174 civilians killed and 690 injured in Ukraine.

According to the UN Human Rights team on the ground, between March and May, 436 civilians were killed and 1,760 injured, including children, media workers, healthcare workers, and emergency service personnel. The actual figures are likely higher.

These high civilian casualties are largely the result of the ground offensive and aerial attacks, including with powerful air-dropped bombs, that took place in Kharkiv region. Since 10 May, nearly 12,000 people were evacuated from the border regions, and several thousand others fled their homes on their own out of fear for their lives.

“Coordinated, large-scale attacks by the Russian Federation against Ukraine’s critical energy infrastructure, deployed through eight major waves since 22 March, have been the most extensive since the winter of 2022/2023. Such attacks must stop immediately,” Türk said.

The attacks have hit power-generating and distribution facilities, significantly degrading Ukraine’s capacity to generate electricity.

Millions of people across Ukraine experience daily power cuts, often for many hours at a time, reducing access to water supply, mobile and internet connectivity, public transportation, and restricting children’s ability to study, as many in Ukraine attend school remotely.

“But the worst is possibly yet to come, as energy companies and the Ukrainian authorities caution that repeated strikes have reduced the ability to make the necessary repairs to heat homes during winter. Again, senseless suffering,” Türk warned.

“Recently released Ukrainian prisoners of war have provided detailed accounts of torture, ill-treatment, and sexual violence. They described brutal beatings, prolonged stress positions, electric shocks and beatings to genitals, dog attacks, and severe food deprivation.
“Based on interviews with over 600 released Ukrainian civilian detainees and POWs torture in places of detention run by the Russian Federation is widespread.This is abominable ,” the High Commissioner said.

He urged the Russian Federation immediately to cease such practices, to improve detention conditions, establish mixed medical commissions, and to grant full access to the UN Human Rights Office and to independent monitors to all places where Ukrainian POWs and civilian detainees are held, including in occupied territory.

UN Human Rights team in Ukraine also interviewed dozens of relatives of POWs and civilian detainees. Some had not heard from their loved ones in months or even years, others not at all. This silence is agonizing for families. The Russian Federation must ensure, in line with international law, timely information is shared on the fate and whereabouts of POWs and civilian detainees and allow communication with families, the High Commissioner said.

“My Office also continued to document the torture and ill-treatment of Russian POWs after capture and while in transit to official places of internment, including beatings and electric shocks. According to our information, the torture of Russian POWs ceased when the POWs arrived in official places of internment. The Ukrainian authorities must investigate these instances and ensure the treatment of POWs at every stage is in line with international law,”Türk said.

“I reiterate that children deported or transferred to the Russian Federation must be returned immediately. I urge the Russian Federation to provide information to the Central Tracing Agency about all children moved from occupied territory and to facilitate their return to their families, the High Commissioner said.

“The pursuit of war – the practice of escalation - cannot become the new normal,” Türk said.

“War is the worst enemy of human rights. It is an aberration, not just in the current context, but everywhere else. It has to be shunned and peace must be found in line with the UN Charter and international law. That is the most fervent wish of Ukrainians,” the High Commissioner said.

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