Death toll, torture on the rise in east Ukraine, UN says - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Death toll, torture on the rise in east Ukraine, UN says

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U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic said in Kiev on Friday that ill-treatment of hostages by separatists had been well-documented. (Source: CBS) U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic said in Kiev on Friday that ill-treatment of hostages by separatists had been well-documented. (Source: CBS)

KIEV, UKRAINE (CBS) - Around three dozen people a day are being killed in eastern Ukraine where both sides target civilians in violation of international law and the death toll has risen to at least 2,220, the U.N. human rights office said on Friday.

The latest findings from the Geneva office, based on reports from a 34-member U.N. monitoring mission in Ukraine between July 16 and Aug. 17, say pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine have carried out murders, torture and abductions along with other serious human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law.

The report on Friday says Ukraine's military also is responsible for human rights violations such as arbitrary detentions, disappearances and torture.

U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic said in Kiev on Friday that ill-treatment of hostages had been well-documented, and that the parading of hostages was fueling tension and hatred.

"They abduct people for ransom, for forced labor and in order to use them for exchange for their fighters held by the Ukrainian authorities," he said.

Rebels have prevented people from leaving cities that are caught up in the fighting, he said.

Simonovic also noted "reports of arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances and torture" by government forces.

As of two weeks ago at least 468 people were believed to be detained by the various armed groups, the report says, while the Ukrainian government has arrested more than 1,000 people in the country's east on charges of "taking part in terrorist activities."

"During this month, the hostilities in eastern Ukraine have become even more intense. As a consequence the number of people that have been killed has risen dramatically. The trend is clear and alarming. There is a significant increase in the death toll in the east," Simonovic said. "The armed groups continue to commit abductions, physical and psychological torture, ill treatment and other serious human rights violations. They abduct people for ransom, for forced labor and in order to use them for exchange for their fighters held by the Ukrainian authorities."

 Copyright 2014 CBS. All rights reserved.

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