Amnesty International denies data collection in prisons for APU report

Earlier, the Center for Strategic Communications under the Government of Ukraine accused Amnesty International of collecting information from people from the territories controlled by Russia .webp 673w” type=”image/webp” media=”(max-width: 320px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 320px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)” >< source srcset=" 1010w" type="image/webp" media="(max-width: 640px) and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2), (max-width: 640px) and (min-resolution: 192dpi)" >

Amnesty International did not collect information from persons in Russian-controlled territories when preparing a report on violations of the laws of war by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the international organization said in a statement. They called false allegations about interviews of people on the territory of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics and in Crimea.

“The survey of witnesses whose testimonies we used, our researchers conducted in the territories controlled by Ukraine. All testimony was given to us voluntarily and in safe conditions, — noted in the message.

None of the people Amnesty International spoke to were in prisons, “filtration camps”; or in territories controlled by Russia, as the organization does not have access there, the statement said.

On August 8, the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security (established under the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine to “counter disinformation”) stated that Amnesty International received most of the materials for the report on the Armed Forces of Ukraine during a survey of people evacuated to territories not controlled by Kyiv— to the Lugansk and Donetsk regions or Crimea.

They also said that the data, in particular, were collected in “filtration camps”; and prisons. Sometimes the “correct” the interview was the only chance to leave Russian-controlled territory, the report said.

“Such information collected in the camps should not be used at all in the preparation of the report. Since such interviews were selected under obvious pressure, — claim in the Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications.

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Amnesty International released a report on the UAF's violation of the laws of war on 4 August. According to the organization, the Ukrainian military deployed military equipment in residential areas, hospitals and schools, endangering civilians. Thus, in Bakhmut (Donetsk People's Republic), the Armed Forces of Ukraine used the university building as a military base, and neighboring residential buildings were damaged due to the impact. Most of the schools visited by human rights activists (22 out of 29) housed Ukrainian military, equipment or weapons, the report says.

The report was criticized by the Ukrainian authorities. Amnesty International tried to “amnesty” Russia and “shift the responsibility to the victim,” said President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, and adviser to the head of his office, Mikhail Podolyak, called for checking whether the organization did not benefit from Russia, and called international humanitarian institutions discredited.

After the publication of the report The head of the Ukrainian branch of Amnesty International, Oksana Pokalchuk, resigned. She considered the contents of the report “support for Russian narratives.” Per Westberg, co-founder of the Swedish division of Amnesty International, also decided to leave his post because of the content of the report.

Amnesty International, after criticism, said that they would not revise the conclusions made in the report. They said that ignoring violations by either side of the conflict is not “convincing reporting”; on the state of human rights, and the report on the Armed Forces of Ukraine does not justify the actions of Russia

The Russian Embassy in the United States positively perceived the publication of Amnesty International. In the message, the diplomatic mission called the resonance around him a sign of the difficulty of “hushing up the truth”.

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