Amnesty International’s Ukraine head quits after report criticizing Kyiv

The head of Amnesty International’s Ukraine arm resigned after the human-rights group blamed Kyiv for endangering civilians and violating worldwide legal guidelines with its wartime techniques.

The watchdog group issued a report on Thursday accusing Ukraine’s navy forces of violating worldwide humanitarian legal guidelines and endangering civilians with techniques that embody establishing bases and working weapons programs in faculties, hospitals and different populated residential areas.

Oksana Pokalchuk, head of Amnesty International Ukraine, mentioned in a Facebook publish late Friday that the report “became a tool of Russian propaganda.” Pokalchuk mentioned she determined to depart as a consequence of disagreement on values with the management of Amnesty International.

Pokalchuk mentioned that Amnesty International’s workplace in Ukraine constantly requested for the report back to bear in mind the place of the nation’s Defense Ministry. However, when the group ultimately reached out to the ministry, Ukrainian officers got little or no time to reply, she mentioned. Amnesty said on Thursday that it contacted the Defense Ministry on July 29.

“As a result, unwittingly, the organization created material that sounded like support for Russian narratives,” Pokalchuk wrote. “Seeking to protect civilians, this research instead became a tool of Russian propaganda.”

In the report, the Amnesty International alleges that Ukraine’s navy has violated worldwide humanitarian legislation by turning civilian amenities into navy targets, for instance establishing bases and working weapons programs in populated residential areas. When Russia strikes these targets, it finally ends up killing civilians and destroying civilian infrastructure, in accordance with the group.

The report sparked fury in Kyiv. Top officers together with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy dismissed it. Zelenskyy accused Amnesty International of an “attempt to grant amnesty to the terrorist state and to shift blame from the aggressor to the victim of aggression.” When the report was revealed, Pokalchuk mentioned that Amnesty’s Ukraine workplace had not been concerned in its preparation.

In an emailed assertion on Saturday, Amnesty International mentioned: “Both our investigations into Russian war crimes, and those into the Ukrainian military’s tactics, were carried out by the same experts from Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Programme. Their findings reflected the same rigorous research standards and due diligence processes as all of Amnesty International’s work.”

Saying it has “clearly and categorically condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” the group mentioned that “we also believe it is crucial to respond impartially.”

When it contacted the Ukrainian authorities on July 29, Amnesty mentioned it “asked them to provide any response by August 3, but received no response.”

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