US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on March 15, 2023. EFE/Tiksa Negeri/Pool

US accuses Russia of war crimes in Ukraine

Washington, Mar 20 (EFE).- The United States on Monday in its annual report on human rights said that Russia had committed “war crimes” in its invasion of Ukraine including carrying out summary executions and raping women and girls.

In the document, Washington admits that Ukrainian authorities, too, are responsible for violations of human rights such as arbitrary executions and torture but added that these reports were “not comparable to the scope of Russia’s abuses.”

The report states that “Russia’s armed forces committed numerous war crimes and other atrocities and abuses. There were credible reports of summary execution, torture, rape, indiscriminate attacks, and attacks deliberately targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure by Russia’s forces in Ukraine, all of which constitute war crimes.”

The initiative of the US State Department serves as a guide for Congress when it makes determinations on granting foreign aid to various nations.

The report makes clear that in 2022 the world saw “backsliding” on human rights in countries on all continents, said Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a press conference.

In addition, Moscow has undertaken the “forced deportation” of civilians from Ukraine to Russia, including children who have been adopted or taken in by Russian families, the document states.

In this regard, the International Criminal Court at The Hague last Friday issued an international arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for authorizing the deportation to Russia of Ukrainian children taken from orphanages.

The report also criticizes the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for “generally (not taking) adequate steps to prosecute or punish officials who committed abuses, resulting in a climate of impunity.”

The report, with its contents relating to 2022, also mentions Iran for its suppression of protests, China for “genocide” in Xinjiang and the “authoritarian governments” of Cuba and Venezuela, among others.

The US accuses Iran of having responded with “brutality and violence” to the peaceful protests against the theocratic government that occurred after the case of Masha Amini, a woman who died in police custody after having been arrested for wearing her obligatory face veil incorrectly.

The report also singled out China for the situation in the western province of Xinjiang, where it says that Beijing continues to commit “genocide and crimes against humanity” against the minority Uyghur Muslims.

The Joe Biden government also denounced the existence of political prisoners in countries such as Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Belarus, where these authoritarian governments have sentenced hundreds or thousands of peaceful demonstrators to long and unjust prison sentences.

At the press conference, Blinken announced that the decision had been made to accuse the Ethiopian army and the rebels of that country’s Tigre region of “war crimes” in the conflict that erupted in 2020 but ended last year.

Many of these actions were not random or accidental but rather deliberate, said the top US diplomat regarding the abuses committed during that war.

In Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), the military government has murdered some 3,000 people since the 2021 coup d’etat, the report states. The US concluded last year that the military had been committing “genocide” against the Rohingya minority.

The document also says that the Taliban regime in Afghanistan has imposed discriminatory measures on women and girls such as prohibiting them access to schools and universities.

In South Sudan, there exists a prolonged human rights crisis, the report states, due to the violence and failure to fulfill commitments by the transition government.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continues to imprison, torture and kill opposition members in his country, where more than 154,000 people have been disappeared by the government or by the so-called Islamic State.

Blinken admitted that the US also has “challenges” in human rights issues, but he said that his government does not hide them “under the rug,” so to speak, but rather wants to openly confront them.

EFE er/pamp/bp