Ukraine: Escalating violence highlights need for civilian protection in eastern Ukraine

The ongoing violence in eastern Ukraine has seen continuing civilian deaths in what may amount to indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks,  and if confirmed would amount to a breach of international humanitarian law, said Amnesty International today.

The Lugansk city council reported today that 22 houses had been damaged in the past 24 hours and eight civilians had been injured as a direct result of the fighting.

“It is imperative that all sides in the Ukraine conflict abide by international humanitarian law and do everything possible to avoid civilian casualties. Indiscriminate attacks, which do not attempt to distinguish between military targets and civilians, are totally prohibited by international humanitarian law. The circumstances surrounding the tragic deaths of civilians must be promptly and impartially investigated,” said Heather McGill, Amnesty International’s Ukraine researcher. 

On 15 July, as many as 11 civilians were reportedly killed in an airstrike in Snizhne – a small town around 12 miles from the Russian border.

Heather McGill is available for interview on the subject.

Possible talking points:

• Latest developments in Ukraine

• Amnesty International’s calls to all parties to the conflict 

• International laws binding all parties to the conflict

Background:

Public statement http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR50/036/2014/en?refresh=8739348649

Briefing paper: Abductions and Torture in East Ukrainehttp://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/EUR50/034/2014/en/c8e25fcd-c791-4edb-ac3f-6b1a1ce12977/eur500342014en.pdf

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