Human Rights Watch spoke about torture and abductions in the Russian-occupied territory of southern Ukraine

The human rights organization Human Rights Watch has published a report on torture and kidnappings in the Russian-occupied territories of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine.

Interlocutors in the occupied cities described to human rights activists 42 specific cases of abduction of civilians by Russian security forces; many of these people were reportedly tortured. Human rights activists also documented the torture of three captured members of the territorial defense; two of them died.

Among the people detained and tortured were, in particular, the organizers and participants of anti-Russian protests, journalists, and local officials.

Several people spoke of severe beatings in detention, including with baseball bats and metal bars, as well as the use of electric shocks.

Human rights activists said that unjustified arrests and illegal detention of civilians in occupied territories could be considered a war crime.

The purpose of the abuse appears to be to gain information and instill fear in people to come to terms with the occupation as Russia tries to assert its sovereignty over the occupied territories in violation of international law

Human Rights Watch

Detentions and abductions of people in the occupied territories of Ukraine have been known since the first weeks of the war. Then it was reported that the Russian security forces are primarily persecuting activists of right-wing movements, combatants in the Donbas, law enforcement officers, as well as Crimean Tatars.

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