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Kyiv allows torture and runs secret jails, says UN

UN assistant secretary-general blames Ukraine for "disregard for human rights".

Ukraine’s "spy agency", the SBU, is systematically rounding up and torturing suspected rebel sympathisers, the United Nations has told The Times.

Ivan Simonovic, UN assistant secretary-general for human rights, said that in some areas Kiev’s “disregard for human rights” had become entrenched and systemic and needed to be urgently addressed.

The UN report documents hundreds of cases of illegal detention, torture and ill-treatment of detainees — both by pro-Russian armed groups and by government agencies.

It draws attention to prisoner abuse and murders by pro-Russian rebel groups, but also exposes the scale and brutality of Ukraine’s government-backed torture programme.

Simonovic also recalled that the UN delegation stopped an inspection mission in Ukraine afer it was not allowed to visit five secret prisons.

In response, the SBU said it did not allow unscheduled inspection of its prison in Mariupol and Kramatorsk because of a Russian member in the delegation.