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“Torture, Executions, Detentions’: Moscow Mechanism Report 2 Published

Moscow Mechanism Report 2 on violations of international humanitarian law by Russia, its war crimes and crimes against humanity has been published. The document covers the period of April 1 – June 25. In the report OSCE MM experts refer, inter alia, on the activity of the Crimean Human Rights Group and UKRAINE.05:00AM Coalition, that the CHRG is a member of.

To remind: The Moscow Mechanism is an official procedure within the OSCE (named after the 1991 meeting in Moscow) that allows for activating an ad hoc mission of independent experts to investigate a particular question or problem related to the human dimension in an OSCE region. An independent mission established through the Moscow Mechanism shall investigate information on violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, on war crimes and crimes against humanity, including intentional and indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure. The report of this mission shall have legal implications for bringing perpetrators to justice in national and international courts or tribunals, namely the International Criminal Court.

The second report states that the conclusions reached by the first mission are largely confirmed: international humanitarian law is violated severely and systematically, they are clearly patterned, and are mostly associated with the Russian armed forces.

The report presents new statements of torture, executions of civilians, illegal detentions, enforced disappearances, shooting of civilians on the streets, in cars, on bicycles, on balconies and in houses, rape of women and children, violence against men, killings of journalists, shelling of hospitals and schools, the use of cluster munitions and other crimes that violate the international humanitarian law.

Describing forced disappearances, the OSCE MM experts refer to the Review of Human Rights Situation in Crimea and 100 Days of Full-Scale Russian Invasion of Ukraine produced by the Crimean Human Right Group.

The mission confirmed the use of incendiary and cluster munitions, phosphorus bombs and thermobaric weapons by Russian troops.

The report refers to “the creation and use of so-called filtering centers by the armed forces of Russia.” In such camps Ukrainian civilians are detained for at least 30 days, undergoing the “filtering” process, and those who are considered the most “unreliable” are obliged to stay there for two months.”

In addition, the report emphasizes that Russia is trying to “circumvent its international obligations by handing over detainees to the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics and allowing these two de facto entities to be engaged in problematic practices, including the use of the death penalty” and other actions, which “fail to meet the basic standards of a fair trial.”

As the CHRG reported, the first report under the OSCE “Moscow Mechanism” was published in May 2022 and covered the initial period of the Russian Federation’s full-scale attack on Ukraine, i.e. from February 24 to April 1, 2022.

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