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Amnesty International's UAF report uses testimonies from people imprisoned in the TOT – Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security

08.08.2022, 16:47

While preparing a report criticizing the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Amnesty International employees used the testimonies of people in filtration camps and prisons in the temporarily occupied territories, meaning the interviews were given under obvious pressure. This was reported by the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security, Detector Media writes.

The Center claims that independent journalists and volunteers were involved in collecting evidence in Mykolaiv, Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Luhansk regions, but most of the content for the report was obtained through interviews with people who had been evacuated to the temporarily non-government controlled territories of Ukraine (in the Donbas or Crimea).

Among other things, they interviewed people who are being held in filtration camps and prisons, and only those who expressed a desire to share certain information.

"Therefore, this information collected in the camps should not have been used during the preparation of the report at all. Since such interviews were selected under obvious pressure from the security forces of the russian federation (i.e. the institutions' administration), which was being applied constantly. This kind of 'correct' interviews is sometimes the only chance for one to pass the filtration and leave the borders of the occupied territories. Moreover, the content collected by the journalists and hired volunteers was also reviewed by the administration of the institutions and in some cases by the russian FSB officers," says the statement of the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security.

It will be recalled that on August 4, Amnesty International published a report which claimed that the Ukrainian army allegedly "creates bases" in residential areas, schools, and hospitals, thus endangering the civilian population.

In response to this, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the organization was shifting responsibility from the aggressor to the victim.

Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said that even offhand attempts to equate unprovoked russian aggression with Ukrainian self-defense testify to a loss of adequacy and are a way to destroy one's credibility.

Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the head of the President's Office, said that Amnesty International is participating in a "disinformation and propaganda campaign." According to him, any statements about violations committed by the UAF are by nature an information operation aimed at discrediting the Ukrainian army and disrupting the supply of weapons from Western partners.

In response to the backlash, Agnes Callamard said that Amnesty International "stands by all victims" and its position is "impartial." She equated the criticism from Ukrainians on Twitter to the work of social media trolls.

The head of Amnesty International Ukraine Oksana Pokalchuk resigned from the organization. As she stated, representatives of the Ukrainian office had done everything to prevent the AI report with accusations against the Armed Forces of Ukraine from being published.

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