Statement on the improper detention conditions, imprisonment, and ill-treatment of the Ukrainian female prisoners
March 31, 2023
We thank the High Commissioner for the regular report.
We draw attention to increasing cases of unjustified detention, forcible transfer, and imprisonment of Ukrainian civilians as hostages by the Russian Federation which is prohibited by international humanitarian law. We are concerned about the improper detention conditions, imprisonment, and ill-treatment of the Ukrainian female prisoners by the Russian Federation.
While being held hostage, the women were either threatened with physical abuse or subjected to physical abuse and torture. The Russian military does not keep records of arrested persons, victims are often not informed of the reasons for their detention, these acts are not reviewed by legal authority, and families are not informed of their whereabouts. Some are still missing. In most cases, the detention took place under inhumane conditions.
We are highly concerned that representatives of international humanitarian organizations do not have access to most places of detention to ensure proper treatment of prisoners in compliance with the Geneva Conventions. The international protection for female prisoners is critical for Ukraine.
We call on the international community:
– to increase the pressure of sanctions on the Russian Federation for the improper treatment of prisoners,
– to demand that Russia provide regular lists of prisoners, with clarifications regarding civilian and military women, to ensure as much as possible the proper humane and gender sensitive conditions of detention for these prisoners.
– to take an active part in setting up special psychological counselling centres for female prisoners of war and civilian hostages released from detention.