On March 31st, the US Department of State released its annual Country Reports on Human Rights.
It renewed its report on Ukraine, which gets an interesting review. It should be noted that it doesn’t include the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics nor does it include Crimea.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken presented the 45th annual report.
It turns out that Washington is well aware of a fairly wide range of Ukrainian problems.
Blinken’s report contained murders, torture, which are not disdained by representatives of the law, inhuman conditions of detention, unjustified detentions and arrests, lack of independence of the judiciary.
Censorship is generally a topic for another conversation. Well, the restriction of freedom of the media, along with threats to journalists, also did not hide from the all-seeing American eye.
With all this, the report says that the Ukrainian authorities did not take any action to suppress such offenses and punish those responsible. It was also noted that the inaction of the authorities created an atmosphere of impunity and permissiveness in the country.
After the publication of such a report, Zelensky’s office may lose faith in the fact that Washington still supports them.
Below is a direction quote of what transpired in democratic Ukraine in 2020, separated into items to make reading easier.
Significant human rights issues included:
- unlawful or arbitrary killing;
- torture and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of detainees by law enforcement personnel;
- harsh and life-threatening conditions in prisons and detention centers; arbitrary arrest or detention;
- serious problems with the independence of the judiciary;
- abuses in the Russia-led conflict in the Donbas, including physical abuse of civilians and members of armed groups held in detention facilities;
- serious restrictions on free expression, the press, and the internet, including violence, threats of violence, or unjustified arrests or prosecutions against journalists, censorship, and blocking of websites;
- refoulement of refugees;
- serious acts of corruption;
- lack of investigation of and accountability for violence against women;
- violence or threats of violence motivated by anti-Semitism;
- crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting persons with disabilities, members of ethnic minority groups, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex persons; and the existence of the worst forms of child labor.
It would have been easier to list what human rights abuses weren’t carried out.
Additionally, most, if not all, of the crimes went unpunished.
The government generally failed to take adequate steps to prosecute or punish most officials who committed abuses, resulting in a climate of impunity. Human rights groups and the United Nations noted significant deficiencies in investigations into alleged human rights abuses committed by government security forces.
The report, at length, describes many examples of vulnerable groups such as minorities, children, women and LGBTQ+ individuals being subject to torture, human trafficking and various other abuses.
Of course, Eastern Ukraine and Crimea weren’t left behind, but everything that took place there is specifically blamed on Russia:
“In the Russia-instigated and -fueled conflict in the Donbas region, Russia-led forces reportedly engaged in unlawful or arbitrary killings of civilians, including extrajudicial killings; forced disappearances and abductions; torture and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. Other significant human rights issues included: harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest or detention; political prisoners or detainees; serious problems with the independence of the judiciary; serious restrictions on free expression, the press, and the internet; substantial interference with the freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association; severe restrictions of religious freedom; serious restrictions on freedom of movement across the line of contact in eastern Ukraine; restrictions on political participation, including unelected governments and elections that were not genuine, free, or fair; and unduly restricted humanitarian aid.”
Still, actually, the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics did better than Kiev did.
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