August 10, 2022

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Amnesty Ukraine director resigns following NGO report accusing Kyiv

Amesty International is accused of endangering civilians to prevent Russian aggression. A statement that “seems to support Russian propaganda” lamented the resignation of Oksana Pokalchuk.

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LOksana Pokalchuk, the director of human rights organization Amnesty International in Ukraine, resigned on Thursday in reaction to the publication of a statement incriminating the Ukrainian military, which the NGO accuses of putting civilians at risk to thwart a Russian invasion, Reuters news agency reported. reported on Saturday. “The way this report is written supports Russian propaganda,” he said.

The Ukrainian office of the NGO repeatedly insisted, but in vain, that the amnesty statement part and the position of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense should be taken into account, Ms. Pokalchuk wrote on Facebook on Friday evening. “By trying to protect the public, this statement plays into the hands of Russian propaganda,” he ruled.

In the report, released after a four-month investigation, the NGO accuses the Ukrainian military of establishing military bases in schools and hospitals and launching attacks from populated areas, which it says violates international humanitarian law. “It pains me to admit it, but we do not agree with the management of Amnesty International on some values. That is why I decided to leave the organization,” says Oksana Pokalchuk.

Agnes Callamard, secretary-general of the non-governmental organization that faced Ukrainian criticism, said on Friday that the government had not responded to a request for reaction or comment before releasing the report. “Ukrainian military practices in no way justify Russia’s systematic violations of international humanitarian law,” he said. “Ignoring violations committed by one privileged party against another is no way to quantify human rights. »

According to Oksana Pokalchuk, at the insistence of her group, Amnesty finally “sent a request to the Ministry of Defense” but “gave very little time to respond”. “If you don’t live in a country occupied by aggressors who divide it, you don’t understand what it means to condemn the army of defenders,” concluded the head of Amnesty Ukraine.



For President Volodymyr Zelensky, Amnesty “made the victim the occupier” and accused the NGO of “creating a false balance between the oppressor and the victim, between hundreds and thousands of civilians, cities, territories and countries”. The country is defending itself.”

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