OHCHR: Report on the Human Rights Situation in Ukraine (1 February – 31 July 2022)
The thirty-fourth report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the human rights situation in Ukraine covers the period from 1 February 2022 to 31 July 2022.
During the reporting period, OHCHR recorded a total of 12,649 civilian casualties, with 5,385 persons killed and 7,264 persons injured. However, actual casualty numbers are likely considerably higher, since these figures only include the cases that OHCHR has been able to verify.
OHCHR recorded damage or destruction to 252 medical facilities, 384 educational facilities and 90 places of worship. The hostilities have also infringed on the enjoyment of other human rights, including the rights to health, work, education, housing and freedom of religion or belief.
OHCHR continued to document and verify allegations of unlawful killings of hundreds of civilians by Russian armed forces while they controlled settlements in the Kyiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Kharkiv regions in February and March 2022. Most victims were men, but there were also women and children.
OHCHR documented 407 cases of enforced disappearance (359 men, 47 women, 1 boy) attributable to Russian armed forces and affiliated armed groups. Among the victims, 17 men and 1 woman were eventually found dead. OHCHR also documented 47 cases of arbitrary arrest and detention, as well as 31 cases that may amount to enforced disappearance (28 men and 3 women) attributable to the Ukrainian law enforcement bodies.
OHCHR is particularly concerned about torture and ill-treatment of civilian detainees by Russian security forces and affiliated groups. Out of 38 civilians released from detention (34 men, 4 women) and interviewed by OHCHR, 33 reported experiencing torture and ill-treatment while in detention.
OHCHR verified 23 cases of CRSV, mostly attributable to Russian armed forces. They occured in different regions of Ukraine, including Kyiv and Chernihiv regions.
OHCHR documented patterns of ill-treatment of prisoners of war held by Russian armed forces and affiliated armed groups during all periods of internment. In particular, this was documented in penal colonies and pre-trial detention facilities in the Russian Federation and in territory of Ukraine controlled by Russian armed forces or affiliated armed groups, where prisoners of war were held in violation of the rule that they shall not be interned in close confinement.
The intensive and wide-scale hostilities have caused mass displacement of the civil population, with grave implications for the enjoyment of human rights, including economic and social rights. At the end of July, over 6.7 million persons have been displaced within Ukraine, and an additional 6.3 million have become refugees ourside Ukraine.
Hostilities have also had a particularly severe impact on the rights of people and groups in situations of vulnerability, including persons with disabilities and older persons, the majority of whom are women. OHCHR documented numerous cases of deaths of older persons due to the dire humanitarian situation in areas affected by hostilities.
Between 24 February and 31 July, 17 journalists and media workers, including bloggers, were killed. Moreover, freedom of expression, including access to media, has been restricted in areas occupied by the Russian Federation or controlled by Russian armed forces or affiliated armed groups.
OHCHR has documented the prosecution of 89 individuals in Crimea for „public actions directed at discredeting the armed forces of the Russian Federation“ since the legislation was introduced in March 2022. OHCHR also received information in relation to teachers being pressured to actively endorse the armed attack by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and refrain from criticizing the occupation authorities.