Notes from press conference on Ukraine
We are gravely concerned about developments yesterday day and night in Ukraine. We are getting more and more reports of civilian casualties.
Civilians are terrified of a further escalation, with many attempting to flee their homes and others taking refuge where possible. As the High Commissioner has warned, the Russian Federation’s military action clearly violates international law. It endangers countless lives and must be stopped immediately.
The High Commissioner stresses that States that fail to take all reasonable steps to settle their international disputes by peaceful means are failing in their obligation to protect the right to life. We urge full respect for international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
We are also disturbed by the multiple arbitrary arrests of demonstrators in Russia protesting against the war yesterday. We know that over 1,800 protesters have been arrested. It is not known if any have now been released.
The arrest of individuals for exercising their right to freedom of expression or peaceful assembly constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of liberty. We call on the authorities to ensure the immediate release of all those arbitrarily detained for exercising these rights.
Our UN human rights monitoring mission remains in Ukraine and will continue to closely monitor and report on the situation.