Fresh details of secret detention by the Ukrainian authorities have emerged following the release of 13 people from a Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) compound in Kharkiv, said Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW), DW reports (UK).
The release comes after AI and HRW exposed the use of torture and secret detention by both Ukrainian authorities and pro-Russian separatists during the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The organizations have now written to the Chief Military Prosecutor of Ukraine with fresh details of secret detention in Ukraine including detailed testimony from some of those released, as well as the details of five who are still being secretly detained in the compound.
“The grotesque practice of secret detention continues to be denied by the Ukrainian authorities, but the evidence is overwhelming. The release of 13 people is welcome, but simply confirms the need to end and investigate these abuses and deliver justice to the victims,” said director of AI in Europe and Central Asia, John Dalhuisen.
Representatives of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch were able to contact seven of the recently released secret prisoners and interviewed five of them. Three of the former secret detainees – Mykola Vakaruk, Viktor Ashykhin and Dmytro Koroliov – are determined to seek justice. The other two asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals against themselves or their families.
According to AI and HRW, at least five other people are still in secret detention. Two are Russian nationals and two are Ukrainian citizens from Kharkiv. The fifth person allegedly suffers from a mental illness.
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