ICC NOTE: For those who have not been keeping a watch on the Ukraine lately, the country struggles for peace and security as pro-Russian forces continue fight against the Ukrainian military. Since the major fighting had subsided, both sides have arbitrarily taken it upon themselves to overlook both the Geneva convention and the basic human rights of the citizens of Ukraine. While the background and demographics of those involved are not particular known, historically speaking Christians have been a target of those who have personal animosity towards the other. In February of 2015, 18 Ukrainian churches were illegally seized in what appeared to be conflict between two different branches of the Orthodox church. It has been rather quiet according to the media regarding the persecution of Christians in the Ukraine however, that does not mean it is not occurring in one form or another.
7/21/2016 Ukraine (Radio Free Europe) – Both sides in the conflict in eastern Ukraine have subjected civilians to extended arbitrary detention, disappearances, and even torture, two leading rights watchdogs warn in a new report.
The July 21 findings by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) accuse Ukrainian authorities and pro-Kyiv paramilitary groups of holding civilians suspected of supporting or having connections with Russia-backed separatists. It says separatists incarcerated civilians suspected of backing or spying for the Ukrainian government.
In some cases, detainees were used as a negotiation chip for prisoner exchanges, the groups say in the report, titled You Don’t Exist: Arbitrary Detentions, Enforced Disappearances, And Torture In Eastern Ukraine.
Ukraine’s government has not yet responded to the allegations in the report, but a senior security official rejected the charge that Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) was running detention facilities or holding anyone arbitrarily.
Representative for separatists in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk opposed to Ukraine’s government called the findings “absurd.”
The rights groups say they were driven to join forces by the magnitude of the problem.
“The reason why we speak with one voice is because the problem of arbitrary detentions and forced disappearances and torture in connection with the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine is very big and demands immediate action by all sides involved in the conflict,” HRW’s Tanya Lokshina told RFE/RL.