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New York Times: Report finds parts of Amnesty statement criticizing Ukraine 'ambiguous and imprecise'

by The Kyiv Independent news desk April 29, 2023 5:24 AM 2 min read
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An undisclosed report seen by the New York Times found faults in Amnesty International's Aug. 4 statement accusing Ukrainian troops of illegally putting civilians in harm's way while fighting Russia. According to the newspaper, Amnesty's board has not yet reacted to the report, completed months ago.

Amnesty International published a report last summer accusing Ukraine's military of endangering civilians by placing military personnel and equipment nearby populated civilian areas. The report sparked an outcry in and outside of Ukraine.

Following the public outrage, the organization apologized for the "distress and anger" its report caused, but that it "fully stood" behind its findings. The organization then said it would conduct an external evaluation and the board said it would commission a legal review of the statement to assess its legal legitimacy.

While the 18-page report did conclude that it was appropriate for the group to determine if both sides were observing the rules of war, it concluded that that Amnesty "had botched its statement in several ways and that its key conclusions that Ukraine violated international law were “not sufficiently substantiated” by the available evidence," the New York Times wrote.

The Aug. 4 report was ultimately “written in language that was ambiguous, imprecise and in some respects legally questionable,” the report found, the New York Times reported.  

“This is particularly the case with the opening paragraphs, which could be read as implying — even though this was not A.I.’s intention — that, on a systemic or general level, Ukrainian forces were primarily or equally to blame for the death of civilians resulting from attacks by Russia."

Editorial: It is Amnesty International’s report that endangers Ukrainian civilians
Editor’s note: Editorials are articles that present the opinion of the editorial team of the Kyiv Independent. In its brutal war of conquest against Ukraine, Russia has been blatantly and systematically targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure anywhere its missiles, artillery, and guns can r…
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