HRW stresses the need for the UN to prioritize the safety of civilians fleeing Mariupol, Ukraine

The NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday stressed that United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, who will visit Moscow and Kyiv this week, should prioritize the plight of the civilian population in Mariupol and stress that senior Russian officials can do this for civilian deaths and other serious violations of international humanitarian law.

The organization has made sure that the elderly, the disabled and the sick or injured need special attention. “Having survived two months of terror, hiding in basements as their city was reduced to coal and rubble, civilians in Mariupol still urgently need help and safe evacuation routes,” said Ida Sawyer, Human Rights crisis and conflicts director .

Therefore, he stressed that “Secretary-General Guterres and other international leaders should put pressure on senior Russian officials to ensure safe passage into Ukrainian-controlled territory.”

HRW stresses the need for the UN to prioritize the safety of civilians fleeing Mariupol, Ukraine
HRW stresses the need for the UN to prioritize the safety of civilians fleeing Mariupol, Ukraine

The agency interviewed 56 people who fled Mariupol between mid-March and mid-April. “They described the dire conditions in the city, and those who left more recently were forced to go to Russia or Russian-controlled territory unless they had the financial means and could arrange private transport via the dangerous.” Organize escape routes,” assured HRW.

After a siege that began around March 2, 2022, Russian forces are now occupying almost the entire city of Mariupol, except for the last base of Ukrainian forces at the Azovstal Steel Plant, where, according to Ukrainian authorities, there are still a few thousand Ukrainian soldiers, about 500 wounded by them, and a thousand civilians.

HRW has also denounced that the total number of civilians killed in Mariupol is unknown. Ukrainian authorities estimate that as many as 20,000 people may have died there since the war began.

Guterres is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov this Tuesday to address the conflict. He is then scheduled to travel to Ukraine on Thursday to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

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