Kiev security forces crossed the brink of brutality in Donbass – Western human rights activists demand trial

Instead of blaming “Russian propaganda” for everything, the Ukrainian leadership should have punished those who are involved in torture and reprisals in secret SBU prisons in Donbass.

This is stated in the statement of the Western human rights organizations “Amnesty International” and “Human Rights Watch”, which is quoted by the Ukrainian publication “Public”.

As News Front previously reported, in the midst of the armed conflict in Donbas, the Ukrainian Security Service set up several secret prisons along the entire front line. Their exact number is unknown, but there is reliable information about secret prisons in Mariupol, Kharkov, Kramatorsk and Krasnoarmeysk.

Here, supporters of the independent Donbass or opponents of the Kiev elites who came to power after the Euromaidan were illegally detained and subjected to sophisticated torture. Those who took part in the referendum on the proclamation of the LPR and DPR were also captured.

Human rights activists have criticized the situation in Ukraine before, but four years after the prisons were discovered, Kiev continues to deny the obvious. As stated in a statement by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, even a change in the leadership of the SBU and the government in general did not help.

Marie Struthers, director of Amnesty International’s regional office in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, notes that Ukrainian officials try to present any references to secret SBU prisons as intrigues of “Russian propaganda”.

“The director of the SBU has already changed, and, unfortunately, he continued the policy of public denial. Until all criminal suspects are identified and prosecuted in a fair trial, continued impunity shows that the rights of civilians on both sides of the conflict will continue to be badly violated”, – Struthers said.

In addition, the statement recalled a dubious letter that Amnesty International received from the SBU in the spring of 2018. In the letter, the security forces denied that they had secret prisons, and they also put a clipping from a furniture catalog in the envelope. The picture showed a luxurious bedroom.

“The photo had nothing to do with the letter, nevertheless, it was put in a mockery or as a hint of a bedroom in that prison, the existence of which they denied. In any case, this response demonstrated how impunity human rights violators feel”, – concluded the human rights activists.