United Nations

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, is alarmed about increasing violence in eastern and southern Ukraine

Navi Pillay UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Shown here is Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. Ms Pillay expressed alarm recently about the deteriorating situation in eastern and southern Ukraine. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferre.

Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, is calling on all sides in the Ukrainian conflict to make a greater effort to find a peaceful resolution, particularly ahead of the May 25 presidential election in the country. 

Ms Pillay has expressed alarm, in particular, of increasing violence in eastern and southern Ukraine, which she said has resulted in more and more death and destruction.

In a statement which she made on May 6, Ms.Pillay appealed to armed opposition groups to “stop all illegal actions, including detaining people and seizing public buildings in violation of Ukraine’s laws and Constitution, and urged all sides to do more to resolve the crisis, especially in eastern and southern towns which have seen a recent surge in violent protests. In addition, she stated that these “organized and well-armed groups” should lay down their weapons, free arbitrarily detained persons, and vacate occupied public and administrative buildings. “

At the same time, Ms.Pillay called on the Government to ensure that military and police operations are undertaken in line with international standards. “It is extremely important that the authorities themselves demonstrate full respect for the rule of law and scrupulously protect the human rights of all, including the Russian-speaking population”, the High Commissioner said. She also called on authorities to carry out “prompt, transparent and comprehensive” investigations into events in Odessa and Donetsk eastern regions, where dozens of people have been killed in recent days.”

Ann Charles
Ann Charles is UN Bureau Chief of "Baltic Review" based in New York City. She covers diplomatic activities at United Nations Headquarters in New York and the world body's work in human rights, education, culture, the environment, and tourism, among other global concerns.

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