On Ukraine’s Independence Day, 24 August, 2014, militants staged a “parade of prisoners” in Donetsk. Pro-Russian separatists held a parade of captured Ukrainian soldiers in the center of Donetsk. The footage from Donetsk shows several dozen prisoners, convoyed by armed militants. At this time, the crowd on the sidelines chants: “Fascists”, someone suggests putting Ukrainian soldiers to their knees, and someone throws eggs at them. The column of prisoners is followed by irrigation trucks.
Human rights activists reacted sharply to this event.
“Procession of Ukrainian soldiers in Donetsk violates the Geneva Convention on the Prohibition of humiliating and degrading treatment, this is an insult to the dignity” – wrote deputy director of the regional branch of the human rights organization Human Rights Watch Rachel Denber on her page on Twitter .
“Article 3 of the Geneva Convention, adopted after World War II, which applies to all armed conflicts, contains a categorical ban on “assault upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment”. This procession is a clear violation of the absolute prohibition and can be considered as a war crime, “- wrote on the HRW site the representative of the organization Ole Solvang.
Militants staged the second “parade of prisoners” on 22 January 2015. The terrorists made about two dozen captured ATO fighters march on the streets of Donetsk. They were led to the place where the bus came under fire, resulting in killing at least seven people.
Human rights groups strongly condemned such acts. Human Rights Watch said that things like this can not be done. “Watched videos of Ukrainian POWs who were beaten, and paraded to the place of the attack on the bus. Bad: You can’t do this, you can’t show this either “- wrote on Twitter European Media Director of Human Rights Watch Andrew Stroehlein.
Amnesty International called it a violation of international humanitarian law. “It’s cruel treatment of prisoners. We as a human rights organization condemn such actions as shooting the bus in Donetsk, during which civilians were killed, “- told Director of Amnesty International in Ukraine Tetiana Mazur to BBC Ukraine. According to her, such actions are a violation of international humanitarian law and they must be investigated promptly and independently.
The head of Kharkiv Human Rights Group Yevhen Zakharov called the so-called “parade” a crime. “No man should be treated like that, either the prisoner or not, this is an insult to dignity, a brutal violation of human rights, and it is a crime,” – said Zakharov in comments to BBC Ukraine .
“Parade of prisoners” in the occupied cities of Donbas is a war crime, “- said the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonović. According to him, the illegal military units continue violating human rights in the occupied territories of Donbas. “SMM continues to document cases of torture and ill-treatment,” – said Šimonović.