UN official to vet forced evacuation claims

AP , Wednesday 30 Mar 2022

The UN human rights chief says her office is looking into allegations that some residents of the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol have been forcibly evacuated to areas controlled by Russian forces or to Russia itself.

Michelle Bachele
File photo: Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, speaks during a press conference at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. AP

Speaking to the UN's Human Rights Council on Wednesday, Michelle Bachelet decried a life of ``sheer terror'' for people in the southeastern port city since Russia's invasion on Feb. 24.

Ukraine has charged that Russian forces were forcibly taking people from Mariupol and other areas to Russia. Moscow has denied the claims, saying about 500,000 Ukrainians left for Russia voluntarily.

Bachelet said her office also is reviewing ``credible allegations'' that Russian forces have used cluster munitions 24 times and allegations that Ukrainian forces also have done so.

She says the office also received allegations that two civilians affiliated with Russian armed forces, or backing pro-Russian views, had been killed. She criticized the ``widespread'' detention of civilians who openly support Ukraine in areas under Russian control.

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