UN official to assess human rights situation in Ukraine

Updated: 2014-08-28 09:19


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UN official to assess human rights situation in Ukraine

A woman prepares food in the Ukrainian city of Avdeevka near Donetsk, Aug 27, 2014. Fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists have rendered the city without electricity and gas. [Photo/Agencies]

UNITED NATIONS - The UN assistant secretary-general for human rights, Ivan Simonovic, will begin a seven-day visit to Ukraine on Thursday, which will also take him to eastern Ukraine to assess the human rights situation there, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said here Wednesday.

"While in the country, he will meet with Ukrainian officials, representatives of the civil society and others," Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here.

"Mr Simonovic will also travel to the east of the country to assess the human rights situation there," he said. "This will be his fourth visit to Ukraine since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine earlier this year."

In the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, Simonovic will launch on Friday the fifth and latest report of the UN human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine, he said.

"The report is expected to document grave human rights violations and abuses committed in eastern Ukraine and the impact of the intense and sustained fighting on the civilian population," Dujarric said.

Earlier this month, Two UN agencies reported to the UN Security Council that more than 1,543 people have been killed and another 4, 396 wounded in Ukraine since fighting flared up in mid-April.

The report, delivered to the UN Security Council by Simonovic, was compiled by the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine and the UN's World Health Organization.

The totals included civilians, the military and members of the armed groups, or militant separatists, Simonovic said.

The UN High commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported 15,200 people had left Crimea since the March referendum there to join Russia, he said. "While tens of thousands of people continue to flee the fighting in the east (of Ukraine), bringing the total number of internally displaced persons in Ukraine to more than 117, 900, according to UNHCR as of Aug 5."