: 'It's an armed conflict not anti-terrorist operation in Ukraine' - United Nations

18:23 Jun. 8, 2016

'It's an armed conflict not anti-terrorist operation in Ukraine' - United Nations

A pro-Russian rebel looks up while ridding on a tank flying Russia's flag, on a road east of Donetsk, July 21, 2014 (AP Photo)

UN human rights expert toured Ukraine in September 2015

In a recently released report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns, the term used to describe the situation in eastern Ukraine is dubbed confusing at best.

According to Heyns, ‘anti-terrorist operation' definition leads to ambivalence about responsibility and considerable confusion.

Read also A tour to help foreigners learn about the war in eastern Ukraine

The General Assembly Secretariat provided the report to the UN Council on Human Rights, which is to open its 32nd session on June, 13, where the Special Rapporteur will present a detailed and further developed report on his findings and recommendations.

"The framing of the conflict as an anti-terrorism operation has led to considerable confusion, both among observers and monitors and in some cases it seems among the participants themselves, about what norms of domestic and international law apply and who within the Government – police, intelligence or army - is in control of the war in eastern Ukraine. This may lead to uncertainty about responsibility", stated in the report.

According to Christof Heyns, the legal framework for the protection of the right to life is largely in place, but its implementation seems highly problematic as there are accountability failures for violations of these norms on many levels.

Read also 'The war with Russia is hybrid, but the blood that flows is real' - Igor Pomerantsev

"The Security Service of Ukraine has been the subject of widespread allegations—and seems to be above the law", Christof Heyns claimed.

The human rights expert also mentioned the issue of Russia-annexed Crimea.

"I am aware of several allegations of serious violations of human rights in that territory, and I want to reiterate that in order to ensure the greater protection of all human rights, including the right to life, this area should be made accessible to international missions", Heyns continued.

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