The occupiers use the same methods of persecution and torture in all occupied territories of Ukraine. Torture is the Russians’ key tool for obtaining information.
This was reported by representatives of the ZMINA Human Rights Center.
According to human rights defenders, during the occupation of Kupyansk, the Russians beat and tortured with electric current people who were illegally held in the isolation ward of the district police department. 19 out of 30 interviewed victims confirmed that people were tortured during interrogation.
Cases of beatings and electric torture are widespread. Human rights defenders are also aware of five cases of electric shock in which the genitals were shocked.
According to Yelyzaveta Sokurenko, the head of the war crimes documentation department of the ZMINA Human Rights Center, the exact number of people who were held in isolation during the half-year occupation of the city is unknown. However, according to the estimates of the victims, at the time of release on September 8, 2022, there were at least 130 people in the detention center.
The Center emphasizes that psychological torture was constant. The Russians threatened to kill or shoot the knee, cut off fingers, tear out nails, cut off an ear, and skinned.
According to Yelyzaveta Sokurenko, the conditions of detention in the detention center can also be qualified as torture: unsanitary conditions, heat, lack of air, lack of hygiene products, constantly on lights, prohibition of new detainees to sleep and punishment for sleeping, low-quality food in small quantities, lack of drinking water and the soul
Human rights activists also say that the Russians forced the detainees to report on other residents of the community in order to weaken people who support Ukraine.
“In Kharkiv Oblast, Kherson Oblast, and Zaporizhzhia, the so-called torture chambers functioned openly and emphatically demonstratively. In this way, the Russians intimidated the residents with torture. In addition, “filtration” of the civilian population took place in all occupied territories“, – notes ZMINA documentary analyst Borys Petrunyok.
As a result of illegal detention, poor conditions and torture, the victims have health problems: insomnia, frequent dreams about what they experienced, anxiety, panic attacks, and some had suicidal thoughts.
“One victim attempted suicide while being held in the Kupyan detention center. Two more victims said they had suicidal thoughts during and after their release.
Other consequences in humans include severe headaches, weight loss, exacerbation of chronic diseases, knocked out teeth, cardiovascular diseases, and more“, says Elizaveta Sokurenko.
According to Serhiy Bolvinov, head of the investigative department of the National Police in the Kharkiv region, 67 people have now been officially recognized as victims of the occupiers’ actions in the Kupyansk torture chamber. However, the police are aware of the torture of more than 150 victims aged 16 to 65.
Bolvinov added that it is difficult to investigate such cases because the representatives of the Russian Federation hid their faces. But he assures that the police will soon announce a series of suspects.
We will remind you that Russia kidnapped thousands of Ukrainian civilians from Ukraine. They are held illegally as hostages and are often passed off as prisoners of war, so it is extremely difficult to return such people.
It is also known that the Russians are holding more than 100 Ukrainian civilians captive without charge. Among them are residents of the temporarily occupied territories of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.
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