Ukrainian Prisoners of War: Testimonies of Torture and Ill-Treatment Revealed at UN Event in Geneva

July 04, 2023

On 26 June 2023, the Polish mission to the UN in Geneva hosted an event on Ukrainian prisoners of war, co-organized with the Permanent mission of Ukraine in Geneva in the framework of the 53rd session of the Human Rights Council.
Former prisoners of war (poet and defender of Azovstal Valeriya Subotina “Nava” who spent almost a year in Russian captivity, military musician Serhiy Aleksun from Mariupol) and other speakers presented testimonies about torture and ill-treatment of Ukrainian prisoners of war, including military and civilians, in Russian facilities. Serhiy Aleksun and Anastasiya Merkotan performed “Melody” by M. Skoryk and spoke about the initiative #bringthebandhome to bring home all musicians-prisoners.
The event accompanied exhibition of drawings by children of Ukrainian prisoners of war.
From 5000 to 10000 Ukrainian prisoners of war, including several musicians from Mariupol/Azovstal, are still in Russian captivity. According to the OHCHR report, over 90% of the interviewed Ukrainian prisoners of war were tortured or ill-treated.