Every fifth Ukrainian justify crimes during the warfare, and 14% think tortures are acceptable

Дата: 08 December 2016
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Every fifth Ukrainian (21%) believes that the crimes committed by Ukrainian military in a combat zone can be justified. 11.3% can excuse only minor crimes, whereas 9.8% believes every crime can be justified. 

These are the results of the national survey “Human Rights in Ukraine”, held from October 22 to November 6 by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives” Foundation, “Ukrainian Sociology Service”, commissioned by the UN Development Program in Ukraine and in cooperation with NGO “Human Rights Information Center” and the Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights. 

However, 48% of respondents condemned such actions of military personnel, considering that they have to be punished.  But 23% do not reject the necessity of punishment but think that military situation can be an extenuating circumstance. 

Tatiana Pechonchyk, the head of the Human Rights Information Center

The residents of Donbas mostly support punishment for such crimes, 80% of them believe that there are no excuses. The most “liberal” are the residents of the Western Ukraine: 37% unequivocally condemn such practices and 28% partly justify. 

80% of respondents voted against torture with respect to detained in a combat zone, while 14% support such possibility (8% in order to obtain relevant information and 6.8% in order to respond similarly to the enemies’ actions). Moreover, the share of those who justify torture is higher in the Western and Central Ukraine (19% and 15% respectively  justify torture). 96% of the residents of Donbas find torture unacceptable. 

“The issue of torture was significant for us: any justification of torture testifies that universal ban on torture is not universal. It is forbidden in the Declaration and the Convention on Human Rights and other international documents,”Tatiana Pechonchyk, the head of the Human Rights Information Center said. 

According to the study, the population also believes that supporting relations with the countries where human rights are violated is wrong. 

Specifically, half of the respondents denied the need to maintain relations with those countries, while only 26% think we should continue relations if it would be beneficial for our country. 

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