10:36 GMT17 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The statements about the existence of secret Kiev-operated prisons in eastern Ukraine, similar to the one made by ex-officer of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU, or SSU), Vasily Prozorov, are not new, a spokesman for Amnesty International (AI) told Sputnik on Monday.

    "The allegations are not new, they have been widely discussed since 2016; similar facts have been mentioned by AI, HRW [Human Rights Watch], UN, as well as in journalist investigation ([conducted by] Hromadske TV). We documented HR violations in SSU facility in Kharkiv in our report of 2016 that you mentioned. The investigation is ongoing (slowly and not quite effectively though), there are 4 cases that are considered by the court", Aleksander Artemev, media manager of Amnesty International in Russia and Eurasia, said.

    READ MORE: EU to Sanction Nine Individuals in Connection With Donbass Elections — Source

    According to Artemev, if there were any new cases of human rights violations mentioned during the press-conference, these claims should be properly investigated by the Ukrainian authorities.

    Earlier in the day, Prozorov said at a press conference in Moscow that Ukraine operated secret prisons in the area of its military operation in Donbas, including one located at the Mariupol airfield. According to him, people were tortured and killed there.

    Last year, Human Rights Watch said in a report that the SBU was responsible for illegal, prolonged detention of numerous individuals, who face torture and abuse during their detention at the secret facilities.

    In 2016, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said that 13 people had been released from a secret SBU facility in Kharkiv.

    READ MORE: Memorial Service for Slain Rossiya Segodnya Journalist Stenin Held in Donbass

    The conflict in Donbass started in 2014, when Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics that refused to recognize the new government in Kiev, which came to power after what they considered to be a coup.


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    investigation, prisons, violations, human rights, Amnesty International, Donbass, Ukraine
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