Skip to comments.More abductions, torture seen in separatist-held eastern Ukraine
Posted on 07/11/2014 8:28:09 AM PDT by WhiskeyX
SLOVIANSK/DONETSK, Ukraine Finally free from the clutches of Russian-backed separatists who abducted her, Hanna, a pro-Ukraine activist from Donetsk, tells a dispiriting tale.
My face was smashed he punched me in the face with his fist, he was trying to beat me everywhere, I was covering myself with my hands I was huddled in the corner, curled up in a ball with my hands around my knees. He was angry that I was trying to protect myself. He went out and came back with a knife,[....]
While definitive statistics on abductions are hard to come by, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry has reported some 500 cases since the onslaught of the conflict in April. The Amnesty report says that the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission for Ukraine recorded 222 abduction cases in that time.
Human rights observers say the kidnappings by the rebels are meant to intimidate the local population. But hostages are also being kept and used as human shields, locked away in rooms of rebel-occupied buildings to keep Ukrainian forces from striking them by air and bombarding them with heavy artillery, observers say. Others are held for ransom.
Among the buildings in which hostages have been held - and perhaps the darkest - was the security services, or SBU, building in Sloviansk, the command center for the rebel commander Igor Strelkov, also known as Igor Girkin, a Muscovite who admitted to journalists in Donetsk on July 10 that he had retired from the Russian Security Service (FSB) in March 2013. Documents uncovered there by Kyiv Post also showed the building served as the place for secret tribunals and orders to execute at least three prisoners.
(Excerpt) Read more at kyivpost.com ...