Amnesty International has some 10 million members worldwide. (Archives)
Amnesty International's head of Ukraine, Oksana Pokaltchouk, has announced her resignation following the non-governmental organization's report accusing the Ukrainian armed forces of endangering civilians, which angered kyiv .
I am resigning from Amnesty International in Ukraine, Ms. Pokaltchouk said in a statement on her Facebook page Friday night to Saturday, blaming the report published on August 4 of unwittingly serving Russian propaganda.
Amnesty International said Friday fully assume its report accusing the Ukrainian army of endangering civilians in its resistance to the Russian invasion by installing military infrastructure in inhabited areas.
The publication the day before of the document had aroused the ire of kyiv. President Volodymyr Zelensky had gone so far as to accuse the NGO of trying to amnesty the Russian terrorist state, putting the victim and the aggressor in some way on equal footing.
Ms. Pokalchuk said she tried unsuccessfully to convince Amnesty International leadership that the report was partial and did not take into account the views of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.
“If you don't live in a country overrun by occupiers who carve it up, you probably don't understand what it is to condemn an army of defenders.
— Oksana Pokalchuk, head of Amnesty Ukraine
Amnesty said it contacted Defense Ministry officials on July 29 about its findings, but did not hear back in time for the release of its report.
According to Ms. Pokaltchouk, Amnesty gave the ministry very little time for a response. Therefore, the organization published a report that unwittingly seemed to support the Russian version, and this report became a Russian propaganda tool, she laments.
In an earlier Facebook post, Ms Pokaltchouk claimed that Amnesty had ignored calls from her team not to publish the report. Yesterday I had the naive hope that everything could be fixed and that this text would be replaced by another one. But today I realized that wasn't going to happen, she adds.
On Friday, the NGO's secretary general, Agnès Callamard, assured that the report's conclusions were based on evidence obtained during large-scale investigations subject to the same rigorous standards and verification process as all the work. of Amnesty International.
In its report after a four-month investigation, Amnesty accused the Ukrainian military of establishing military bases in schools and hospitals and to launch attacks from populated areas, a tactic it says violates international humanitarian law.
Amnesty, however, insisted that the Ukrainian tactics in no way justify the indiscriminate Russian attacks that hit civilians.
The head of Ukrainian diplomacy, Dmytro Kuleba, had expressed outrage at the unfair accusations of Amnesty International which, according to him, creates a false freedom between oppressor and victim.
War in Ukraine: UN to investigate explosions at Olenivka prison