Human Rights Watch accuses Russia of forcibly deporting Ukrainians

Russian forces forcibly take Ukrainians to the Russian Federation or the occupied territories of Ukraine.

This is stated in the report of the organization Human Rights Watch.

The report says that Mariupol civilians were told they could stay in the occupied territories or leave for Russia. Still, they should forget about leaving for the territory controlled by Ukraine.

Also, some residents of the Kharkiv region were forcibly taken to Russia. A 70-year-old man from the village of Ruska Lozovaya, for example, was told by the occupiers that the Ukrainian army would kill him because he lived in the occupation.

Some people said they came to Russia voluntarily to travel to the European Union in the future.

“The laws of war prohibit Russian or Russian-affiliated forces from forcing Ukrainian civilians, individually or en masse, to evacuate to Russia. A forcible transfer is a war crime and a potential crime against humanity and includes a transfer in circumstances in which a person consents to move only because they fear consequences such as violence, duress, or detention if they remain, and the occupying power is taking advantage of a coercive environment to transfer them. Transferring or displacing civilians is not justified or lawful on humanitarian grounds if the humanitarian crisis triggering the displacement is the result of unlawful activity by the occupying power,” the report emphasizes.

In addition, thousands of Ukrainian citizens were filtered. Biometric data was collected from residents of Mariupol, including fingerprints, facial photographs, and personal belongings were searched, and questions were asked about their political views.

The organization emphasizes that the filtering process is punitive and offensive, has no legal basis, and violates the right to privacy.

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