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UN official: Russian aggression in Ukraine “synonymous with torture”

According to the United Nations official tasked with investigating torture, Russia’s armed aggression is “is becoming synonymous with torture and other inhuman cruelty.”
UN official: Russian aggression in Ukraine “synonymous with torture”

At the end of her visit to Kyiv on 10 September, UN Special Rapporteur Alice Jill Edwards said the Russian aggression is synonymous with torture, CNN reports.

“The volume of credible allegations of torture and other inhumane acts that are being perpetrated against civilians and prisoners of war by Russian authorities appears to be unabating,” she said.

According to Edwards, these “grievous acts appear neither random nor incidental, but rather orchestrated as part of a state policy to intimidate, instill fear, punish, or extract information and confessions.”

The UN official says she has gathered “harrowing testimonies involving electric charges being applied to ears and genitals, beatings of all kinds, mock executions at gunpoint, simulated drowning, being required to hold stress positions, threats of rape or death, and various ceremonies of ridicule and humiliation.”

“Returned Ukrainian civilians and soldiers recounted being crowded in basements and cells, in congested conditions, and being poorly fed. Several lost dangerous levels of weight,” says UN Special Rapporteur.

However, Edwards cautioned that significant hurdles stand in the way of holding the purported perpetrators accountable. The inaccessibility of currently occupied regions, the loss of vital evidence over time, and the need to adapt the criminal justice system to handle and prosecute international atrocity crimes will all present formidable challenges for Ukrainian prosecutors.

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