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Nils Muižnieks: Accountability for serious human rights violations is key to Ukraine’s reconciliation process

Judicial accountability for serious human rights violations is key to Ukraine’s reconciliation process, according to human rights commissioner Nils Muižnieks.

“The armed conflict in Ukraine has yielded many reports of serious human rights violations, including unlawful killings, enforced disappearances and torture on both sides of the contact line,” he said, following his visit to the country, earlier this month.

“The perpetrators of such grave crimes must be brought to account. The participation of victims of human rights abuses, as well as their families, in the relevant criminal proceedings should be ensured.”

During his country visit, the Commissioner for Human Rights travelled to Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk and the non-government controlled city of Donetsk.

Muižnieks learned that several hundred people remained on the missing persons lists compiled in Kyiv and Donetsk.

“The families of the victims, as well as society at large, have the right to know the truth”, he declared. “NGOs and associations of relatives of missing and disappeared persons should be supported in their efforts to clarify their fate. The establishment of an independent mechanism for the search of missing persons may further enhance this process.”

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