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UN Human Rights Commissioner office concerned over use of force in south-eastern Ukraine

May 06, 2014, 14:53 UTC+3 GENEVA

UNHCHR spokesman Rupert Colville added that the government should guarantee that the military operation is carried out in compliance with international standards

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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuyev

GENEVA, May 06. /ITAR-TASS/. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is strongly concerned over Ukrainian government’s excessive use of force in a punitive operation in the southeast of the country.

“Excessive use of force is obviously a major concern in current situation,” UNHCHR spokesman Rupert Colville said at a briefing on Tuesday. He added: “The government must ensure that military and police operations are undertaken in line with international standards. It is extremely important that the authorities themselves demonstrate full respect for the rule of law and scrupulously protect the human rights of all, including the Russian-speaking population.”

Elections in Ukraine hardly possible

Rupert Colville noted that in the current situation it is very complicated to hold elections in Ukraine. "If the situation continues like it has been in the last few days in certain towns, with serious violence taking place, major buildings set on fire, people killed in the streets, it seems very hard to hold elections in such circumstances."

In late April, head of Ukraine’s Central Election Committee Mykhailo Okhendovsky stated that the extraordinary presidential elections scheduled for May 25 in Ukraine would take place in any case. “Despite the uneasy situation in the east, nothing can disrupt the expression of people’s will,” he told local media in an interview.

He added that the legislation allows considering elections as valid even if they really took place only at one ballot station. In addition, the head of Ukraine’s election committee expressed hope that the situation in the country’s south-east would be solved in the nearest time.

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