September 19, 2015

A buried statement

Preliminary Recommendations
  1. Efforts by all parties to end the armed conflict in the Eastern part of the country should be renewed. The cease-fire should be observed and monitored. As long as hostilities continue, all parties must take concrete measures to reduce civilian casualties, and adhere strictly to the IHL requirements of distinction, proportionality and precaution in attack. 
  2. Proper internal measures of reporting on exchanges of fire should be established. Targeting should follow international standards, and be adjusted based on regular assessments of its impact. Allegations of breaches of international humanitarian law must be investigated.
  3. It is of great importance to move the conflict out of built-up areas. All parties to the conflict should refrain from using weapons that do not allow sufficient precision in this context.
  4. The Government of Ukraine should take steps to ratify the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions. In their public statements on the use of such weapons by the opposing armed groups, the Government has added weight to the idea of an emerging norm against the use of cluster munitions under any circumstances.  All parties to the conflict should immediately desist from the use of such weapons, which are inherently indiscriminate.
  5. All remaining volunteer militia groups must be disbanded and disarmed.
  6. The events at Ilovaisk in August 2014 must be investigated and any perpetrators be brought to justice.
  7. A system of independent overview of the conduct of all those who perform law enforcement functions must be established, focussing in particular on allegations of ill-treatment by the SBU. This mechanism should be empowered to conduct investigations into suspected informal detention facilities, including comprehensive power of search within military or SBU facilities.
  8. The investigations into the events at Maidan in February 2014 and the 2 May events of the same year at Odessa must be completed as a matter of priority and accountability for losses of life must be established. The systemic failures that contributed to the eventual losses of life—such as the low profile of the police and the delayed response of the fire brigade in Odesa—should also be investigated and where appropriate rectified.
  9. The difficult situation of the families of those who lost their lives should be acknowledged by the Government. Their safety, physical and psychological well-being, dignity and privacy must be protected, and they must be promptly informed of progress in the investigations. Public officials must treat them with respect at all times.
  10. The killing of Oles Buzyna and the disappearance of Sergii Dolgov must be investigated.
  11. The Government of Ukraine should consider inviting official country visits from the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, the Working Group on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination, and the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.
  12. The reservations to the ICCPR and the ECHR must be reconsidered on a regular basis.
  13. The office of the Ombudsperson must be strengthened.
  14. The human rights situation in Crimea must remain under the scrutiny of inter alia international monitoring bodies. The governments who control access to the territory—Ukraine and the Russian Federation—must grant full access to such monitors. However, even without such access the monitoring must continue.
  15. Judges and other officers of the court must be protected against intimidation.

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