"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.
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.
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.
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.