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Enforced Disappearances: 81 Persons Considered Disappeared, 10 Found Dead

As of 15 May, the list of disappeared activists includes 186 persons, including 95 liberated, 10 found dead, and 81 considered disappeared.

The data were collected and documented by the Crimean Human Rights Group, in cooperation with ZMINA Centre of Human Rights, Media Initiative for Human Rights (MIHR), and World Organization Against Torture (OMCT), within the framework of activities of the UKRAINE. 05:00AM coalition of the NGOs.

Most of these cases have signs of enforced disappearances. People who managed to escape from the captivity of the occupiers tell about torture, inhuman treatment and psychological abuse. The bodies of people found dead feature signs of extrajudicial executions. All these people are non-combatant civilians, and pursuant to international humanitarian law, their detention is classified hostage-taking. The Russian occupiers then offered the Ukrainian Government to exchange these civilians for military ones, which is also a violation of IHL.

In addition, in recent weeks, the occupiers in Zaporizhia and Kherson Regions have begun abducting not only activists and journalists, but also anyone who can be considered a local moral authority in the community. This list includes doctors, teachers, religious and scientific figures, cultural figures, lawyers. The list of missing and abducted citizens is constantly growing. Most of the information from this sample is from Kherson, Zaporizhia, and Kyiv Regions. Getting information from Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv Regions is currently limited, because currently only limited data are available n from areas of active hostilities, where there is no light and no internet. With the start of full-fledged investigations into such cases, these statistics may increase several times.

The CHRG points also out that the Russian authorities started a practice of enforced disappearance in Crimea in 2014, with journalists and activists who did not support the occupation of the peninsula becoming its victims.

The CHRG has been collecting the data on enforced disappearances. If you have information about such cases, please email the information to the address: [email protected]

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