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Human Rights Advocates Could Have Been More Active in Donbas: Ombudsman

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Russian Foreign Ministry - Sputnik International
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Russian Foreign Ministry's human rights ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov said that international human rights organisations must do more to "summarize the facts of human rights violations and prompt Kiev authorities to investigate facts."

MOSCOW, November 19 (Sputnik) — International human rights organizations should have been more active and unbiased in their work in southeastern Ukraine from the very beginning of the conflict, Russian Foreign Ministry's human rights ombudsman Konstantin Dolgov said Wednesday.

"In our view, Amnesty International, just like Human Rights Watch, should definitely have been more active and unbiased working on [the] Ukrainian issue from the very beginning. Certain progress from their side can be observed. I'd like to believe that it was reached under the certain influence of Russian diplomacy. But of course this activation is not enough," Dolgov told the Russian Rossiya-24 TV channel.

The Russian ombudsman expressed hope that human rights organizations would do more to "summarize the facts of human rights violations and prompt Kiev authorities and relevant international institutions to undertake efforts to investigate [these] facts and punish those responsible."

According to Dolgov, fully independent international human rights organizations are currently out of reach, but he believes that the existing organizations will be able to achieve more if they will "call things by their proper names" in their reports. As an example Dolgov mentioned the latest HRW report on incendiary weapons, which registers the use of such weapons in Ukraine but prefers to bypass the question on who was responsible for their use.

Earlier in November, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report on the use of incendiary munitions in Ukraine. According to the document, in August 2014, incendiary weapons were used in attacks on two Ukrainian towns, Ilovaisk and Luhanskoe. However, HRW did not confirm who was responsible for the attacks.

Addressing the same issue on Tuesday, Dolgov noted that the Russian Investigative Committee was still examining cases of the use of forbidden methods and means of war in Ukraine.

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