HRC50: Item 2 – High Commissioner’s Oral Update – Mariupol

HRHF video statement

16 June 2022

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Thank you.

The atrocities carried out by the Russian forces include executions of civilians and journalists, enforced disappearances, forcible transfers of large numbers of civilians from Ukraine to Russia, including deportation of children and family separation, widespread use of torture, and sexual and gender-based violence.

Our Ukrainian partners particularly highlight the thousands of Ukrainians being held in Russian filtration camps, and the reports of their appalling conditions and treatment.

We also highlight the case of Julia Payevska, a civilian paramedic who was taken hostage with her driver Serhiy while conducting an evacuation near Mariupol on 16 March. She was later seen on Russian TV with visible signs of ill-treatment. We call on her swift and safe return.


The Commission of Inquiry is mandated to establish the root causes of violations and abuses in Ukraine. We and others have long been documenting the erosion of human rights within Russia.

There is now a stranglehold on civil society which has enabled the Russian authorities to act with near impunity abroad, including the most recent unprovoked attack on Ukraine.


We must already look to the next stage of the accountability process, even as the COI carries out its work.

We ask the High Commissioner how an international tribunal could be established to prosecute certain international crimes that are documented by the COI?

Thank you.