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A speech of the Head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine Matilda Bogner at the press-conference of Prosecutor-General of Ukraine caused a stir. At the press conference, it was announced that criminal proceedings were instituted against me as the Human Rights Ombudsman in the Donetsk People’s Republic, as well as against a number of other persons, including representatives of civil society organizations. I have not received any official notification, as regulated by the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine, regarding the initiation of a criminal case. Moreover, in the quarterly Reports on the Human Rights Situation, UN representatives have repeatedly pointed out that non-compliance with the right to a fair trial, especially in criminal cases related to armed conflict, undermines the credibility of the Ukrainian government and the rule of law.

However, Ms. Bogner in her statement encouraged the actions of the military Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine. She did not take into account the influence of the very fact of her presence and her comment made at this press conference as an expression of support for illegal actions of one of the parties to the conflict. The above constitutes professional misconduct and undermines the impartiality and independence of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission. Having been in office for less than a month, Ms. Bogner, without having visited the Donetsk People’s Republic, allows for actions that destroy the relations established by her predecessor.

We urge the United Nations to give a due assessment to the actions of Ms. Bogner and provide reassurance of impartiality and independence in the implementation of the mandate of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in relation to the conflict in Donbass.

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