Torture of civilians in Izyum was part of russian plan – HRW

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Human Rights Watch [HRW] reported that russian forces and others operating under their command routinely tortured detainees during their six-month occupation of Izyum, a city in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine. The organization interviewed more than 100 victims and concluded that the torture was part of a “policy and plan.”

“Findings indicate that russian troops have committed horrific abuses in many areas they have occupied, and there is real concern about similar abuses in other areas they continue to control,” the HRW report says.

Victims interviewed by human rights defenders said they were tortured with electric current, drowning, brutally beaten, threatened with weapons and forced to remain in uncomfortable positions for long periods of time. They also showed at least seven places in Izyum, including two schools, where they were said to have been detained and abused by the russian military.

“Multiple victims shared credible accounts with us of similar experiences of torture during interrogation in facilities under the control of russian forces and their subordinates, indicating this treatment was part of a policy and plan,” the report said.

Local male residents said they were tortured with electric shocks, beaten with hands, metal pipes and other objects, while a detained woman said she was punched in the stomach and threatened with rape.

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