Ukraine security forces criticized in report for standing by during deadly clashes in east
KIEV, Ukraine - A total of 250 people have died in Ukraine's nationwide crisis since November of last year, according to the UN’s assistant secretary general for human rights.
Ivan Simonovic told a press conference on Friday in Kiev that, according to Ukrainian authorities and civil society activists, the death toll included the casualties of protests in Ukraine's Independence Square and incidents in Crimea and eastern Ukraine between November 2013 and February 2014.
A total of 127 people were killed during anti-terror operations in eastern Ukraine, the report said.
Criticizing the attitude of Ukrainian security forces in the east, Simonovic said it had been possible for them to stop several clashes that had claimed lives.
- Threatened and harassed
Simonovic also voiced concern over press freedom and escalating violence, saying armed gangs have increased tensions in the eastern and southeastern regions amid increasing protests and detentions.
"112 people were illegally detained in these regions, the fates of 49 of them are of concern," he said.
The report also urged Ukraine's government to investigate deaths and reasons of the inaction of security officers.
Simonovic said changes that occurred in Crimea's legislation should not negatively affect residents in Crimea and called for equality for Crimean Tatars in working conditions, social services and education.
A total of 7,200 Crimean Tatars had to leave their homes, according to the report, with those living in Crimea being requested to apply for Russian citizenship by 18 April and those who did not apply being threatened and harassed.
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