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Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine have arrested around 3,000 civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol, the country’s human rights chief said on Thursday.
Lyudmyla Denysova said on social media that the Ukrainian government is aware of at least two prisons set up in the Donetsk region, one in the regional capital of Donetsk and another in Olenivka, a suburb 20 km southwest downtown, according to the Associated Press.
She said Kyiv authorities had received reports of people being “tortured, interrogated, threatened with execution and coerced into cooperating”, and others disappearing after interrogations.
US SAYS ‘TENS OF THOUSANDS’ OF UKRAINIANS SENT TO RUSSIAN TERRITORIES
Denysova also alleged that the detainees were held in “inhumane conditions” with insufficient access to toilets and no space to lie down.
She claimed some captives were released after 36 days, after signing unspecified documents, but did not provide further details.
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More than 100,000 civilians still live in the ruined port city of Mariupol, which had a pre-war population of around half a million.
Ukrainian authorities previously claimed that “thousands of Ukrainians” had been forcibly taken to Russia.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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