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Human Rights Watch calls on Merkel to press Kiev to protect civilians in Ukraine

January 07, 2015, 0:16 UTC+3 BERLIN
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BERLIN, January 6. /TASS/. The international human rights organization Human Rights Watch has called on German Chancellor Angel Merkel to press Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyk to ensure that Ukrainian forces take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians, Deutsche Welle said on Tuesday.

The call came ahead of Merkel’s meeting with the Ukrainian prime minister due to be held in Berlin on January 8.

“Merkel should emphasize the need for Ukraine’s Defense Ministry to issue clear and specific orders to troops fighting a Russian-backed insurgency in eastern Ukraine not to use certain explosive weapons in areas populated by civilians,” Human Rights Watch said. “Merkel should also press the Ukraine authorities to conduct further investigations into allegations that Ukrainian forces were responsible for attacks in the east that failed to distinguish between civilian and military objects, causing civilian casualties.”

“As one of Ukraine’s most important allies, Germany has a special responsibility to make sure that the country’s leadership is actively enforcing the obligation to respect the laws of war and protect civilians,” Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, was quoted as saying.

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