U.N. monitors to investigate human rights abuses in Ukraine

March 15, 2014 at 3:16 PM
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KIEV, Ukraine, March 15 (UPI) -- The United Nations will be carrying out an investigation into possible human rights violations in Ukraine, officials said.

Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic announced Friday the deployment of U.N. monitors to Ukraine to investigate all reports of human rights abuse, RIA Novosti reported.

Included in the investigation with be the Crimea region, which is scheduled to hold a secession vote Sunday.

Simonovich said he was "gravely concerned about the situation in Crimea."

"There appears to be no rule of law at present, and therefore a drastic deterioration in the protection of human rights, as well as rampant fear and insecurity due to misinformation, blocking of information and total uncertainty about what is coming next," he said.

Simonovich and a team from the United Nations have been traveling throughout Ukraine over the past nine days.

He admitted that there were human rights violations against ethnic minorities, including Russian speakers in Crimea, but so far there has been no evidence that victims were persecuted because of their ethnicity or political views.

"Without an independent, objective establishment of the facts and circumstances surrounding alleged human rights violations, there is a serious risk that these competing narratives could be manipulated for political ends, leading to divisiveness and incitement to hatred," Simonovich said.

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