Amnesty International apologises over Ukraine report described as propaganda gift for Moscow | ABC News

by UKCHP_Admin

Amnesty International has apologised for “distress and anger” caused by its report accusing Ukraine of endangering civilians.

The report infuriated Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and triggered the resignation of Amnesty’s Kyiv office head.

The rights group published the report last week, saying the presence of Ukrainian troops in residential areas heightened risks to civilians during Russia’s invasion.

“Amnesty International deeply regrets the distress and anger that our press release on the Ukrainian military’s fighting tactics has caused,” the group said on Sunday. 

“Amnesty International’s priority in this and in any conflict is ensuring that civilians are protected.

“Indeed, this was our sole objective when releasing this latest piece of research. While we fully stand by our findings, we regret the pain caused.”

‘A tool of Russian propaganda’

Mr Zelenskyy accused the group of trying to shift responsibility away from Russia, and Amnesty’s Ukraine head, Oksana Pokalchuk, quit, saying the report was a propaganda gift for Moscow.

Ms Pokalchuk said Amnesty unwittingly “created material that sounded like support for Russian narratives of the invasion”.

“In an effort to protect civilians, this study became a tool of Russian propaganda,” she said. 

“It pains me to admit it, but we disagreed with the leadership of Amnesty International on values. That’s why I decided to leave the organisation.”

Asked about Ms Pokalchuk’s resignation, Amnesty secretary-general Agnes Callamard said she had been a valued member of Amnesty staff.

“[Ms Pokalchuk] has led the Amnesty International Ukraine office for seven years with many significant human rights successes,” she said. 

“We are sorry to hear that she is leaving the organisation, but we respect her decision and wish her well.”



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