Amnesty International Publishes Bombshell War Crime Report: International human rights organization Amnesty International published a new report on Thursday that accused Russia of committing war crimes by forcefully deporting civilians. The report also accuses Russian forces of torturing Ukrainian civilians, separating families, and putting vulnerable people at risk.
The new report, “Like a Prison Convoy”: Russia’s Unlawful Transfer of Civilians in Ukraine and Abuses During ‘Filtration,’ outlines how Russian forces and their allies have “forcibly transferred civilians from occupied Ukraine further into Russian-controlled areas or into Russia” through a process known as “filtration.”
According to intelligence from Ukraine, the filtration system sometimes sees Ukrainian civilians detained for varying periods of time, tortured, and otherwise treated inhumanely.
Amnesty International Secretary General Agnès Callamar said that these war crimes have been committed by the Russian side since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, and noted that the invasion itself was already an international crime.
“Russia’s deplorable tactic of forcible transfer and deportation is a war crime. Amnesty International believes this must be investigated as a crime against humanity,” Callamar also said, adding that all those who have been unlawfully detained should be allowed to leave.
“Children in Russian custody must be reunited with their families, and their return to Ukrainian government-controlled areas must be facilitated,” Callamar also said.
The new paper offers several case studies, describing how Russian forces forcibly transferred civilians from the city of Mariupol, following Russian occupation in March, to neighboring regions also under Russian control. The human rights organization claimed that Russian troops stopped civilians from accessing humanitarian routes used by other civilians to evacuate to Ukrainian-controlled territory.
The report also described how an 11-year-old boy was separated from his mother during the filtration process – a violation of international humanitarian law.
United Nations Agrees
In September, the United Nations confirmed that there are credible reports that Russian forces deported Ukrainian children to Russia, separating them from their parents and putting them into the Russian adoption system.
Speaking at a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, assistant UN secretary-general for human rights Ilze Brands Kehris said that filtration operations were separating children.
“There have been credible allegations of forced transfers of unaccompanied children to Russian-occupied territory, or to the Russian Federation itself,” Kehris said.
“We are concerned that the Russian authorities have adopted a simplified procedure to grant Russian citizenship to children without parental care, and that these children would be eligible for adoption by Russian families.”
Ukraine is reportedly planning on raising the issue at this month’s G-20 summit, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s chief of staff Andriy Yermak confirming this week that the “removal of children continues” in Ukraine.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.