Ukrainian civilians forcibly moved to Russia

Ukrainian civilians forcibly moved to Russia

Many forcibly transferred people were fleeing the city of Mariupol and the Kharkiv region.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Russian forces have forcibly transferred Ukrainian civilians, including those fleeing hostilities, to areas under their control, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report. released Thursday.

The forcible transfers constitute a serious violation of the laws of war amounting to a war crime and a potential crime against humanity, HRW said.< /p>

The organization interviewed 54 people who had been to Russia or knew people who had been there. Some of them also helped Ukrainians trying to leave Russia.

Many forcibly transferred were fleeing the town of Mariupol, a port in southeastern Ukraine that suffered a devastating siege and heavy shelling before being seized by Russian troops. Others came from the Kharkiv region in eastern Ukraine.

Of course, we would have taken the opportunity to go to Ukraine if we could, a woman transferred from Mariupol told HRW. But we had no choice, no possibility to go to the territories controlled by kyiv, she said.

“Ukrainian civilians should have [no] choice but to go to Russia.

—Belkis Wille, a Human Rights Watch researcher and co-author of the report

Along the way, many of these civilians were subjected to a form of mandatory security screening called screening, which included the collection of biometrics and fingerprints, body searches and searches of their personal belongings, according to the report.

No one should be forced to undergo an abusive screening process to achieve safety, Wille argued.

A resident of Mariupol told HRW that he was arrested by Russian troops before being placed for two weeks with dozens of other residents of this city in a school in unsanitary conditions before being able to pass the filtration.

We felt like hostages, he told HRW.

The filtration that targets Ukrainian citizens is punitive and abusive, has no legal basis and constitutes a clear violation of the right to life pr ive, HRW said.

The NGO sent its findings and a summary of issues to Russian authorities on July 5, but received no response.< /p>

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