"She also called for the government to exercise restraint, ensure that security operations are in line with international standards at all times, and take great care to protect civilians when engaging with armed groups."
Geneva, June 18 - The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Wednesday issued a new report on Ukraine describing the breakdown of law and order in areas held by armed groups in the east of the country.

The 58-page report, covering the period from May 7 to June 7, is the third to be produced by the 34-strong UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission, since it was deployed by High Commissioner Navi Pillay in March, Xinhua reported.

The report pointed out the human rights situation in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk had continued to deteriorate, noting the presence of armed people and weapons had increased in both regions.

The escalation in criminal activity resulting in human rights abuses is no longer limited to targeting journalists, elected representatives, local politicians, civil servants and civil society activists, the report said.

The report stated that abductions, detentions, acts of ill-treatment and torture, and killings by armed groups were affecting the broader population of the two eastern regions, marked by an atmosphere of intimidation and consequent fear.

Local residents of areas affected by the fighting are increasingly being caught in the cross-fire between the Ukrainian military and armed groups, with a growing number of residents killed and wounded, the report noted.

Pillay urged the armed groups operating in eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk to stop taking themselves, and the people living in their regions, down this dead end, which was leading simply to misery, destruction, displacement and economic deprivation.

She also called for the government to exercise restraint, ensure that security operations are in line with international standards at all times, and take great care to protect civilians when engaging with armed groups.

The report stated that the Ukraine government was continuing to implement the April 17 Geneva statement through a number of initiatives and legislative changes, as well as taking the first steps towards the adoption of a constitutional reform package, including the decentralisation of power and a special status for the Russian language.


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