Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 21st 2014 Contents A42
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GENEVA---The fighting in eastern Ukraine has
killed nearly 300 people in the last month despite
a cease-fire and has violated people s rights so
much it could amount to war crimes, UN rights
investigators said yesterday.
A new report from the UN team in Ukraine said
at least 4,317 people have been killed in the conflict
that began in mid-April and the number of people
internally displaced by the violence has risen sharply
in the last month to nearly 466,830 in all.
The report also cited allegations of serious human
rights abuses by armed groups including torture,
detention, executions, forced labor and sexual violence
that "are of a systematic nature and may amount
to crimes against humanity."
The report said the standoff between Kiev's gov-
ernment troops and pro-Russian rebels in eastern
Ukraine "is becoming increasingly entrenched, with
the total breakdown of law and order and the emer-
gence of parallel governance systems" in Donetsk,
the largest city under separatist control, and in rebel-
controlled areas in the neighbouring Luhansk region.
"All parties need to make a far more wholehearted
effort to resolve this protracted crisis peacefully," the
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad
al-Hussein said in a statement.
A top Russian official, meanwhile, criticised a US
official's comment that Washington should consider
supplying weapons to the Ukrainian government,
saying that would only expand the conflict.
"The United States is one of the initiators of the
conflict on the territory of Ukraine, and if they sell
weapons, the conflict will escalate," Nikolai Patrushev,
secretary of President Vladimir Putin's Security
Council, said in remarks carried by Russian news
Russian Foreign Ministry Alexander Lukashevich
issued a similar warning, saying US weapons would
be "a highly destabilising factor that could seriously
influence the balance of power."
Tony Blinken, the deputy US national security
adviser, told a US Senate committee on Wednesday
that strengthening Ukraine's forces is "something
we should be looking at."
The Obama administration has resisted supplying
arms to Ukraine, although there is broad support
STOCKHOLM---A Swedish appeals
court upheld the detention order on
Julian Assange yesterday, dismissing
a challenge by the WikiLeaks
founder who is wanted by prosecu-
tors in an investigation of alleged
Confirming a ruling by a lower
court, the Svea appeals court said
there is no reason to lift the detention
order just because it can't be enforced
at the moment. Assange has avoided
being extradited to Sweden by taking
shelter in the Ecuadorean Embassy
in London since 2012.
The court also criticised the pros-
ecutors, who have declined Assange's
offer to be questioned in London, for
not considering "alternative avenues"
to move the investigation forward.
But it added that "the reasons for
detention still outweigh the reasons
to the contrary since Julian Assange
is suspected of crimes of a relatively
serious nature and there is a great
risk that he will evade legal proceed-
ings or punishment if the detention
order is set aside."
Assange hasn't been formally
indicted in Sweden, but is wanted for
questioning by police about allega-
tions of sexual misconduct and rape
involving two women he met during
a visit to the Scandinavian country
in 2010. He denies the allegations.
His lawyers argued that the deten-
tion order that underlies Sweden's
request for his extradition should be
lifted, on the grounds that it cannot
be enforced while he is at the embassy
and because it is restricting Assange's
They also wanted prosecutors to
release text messages that the women
sent to Assange and that he believes
show there is no basis for his arrest.
The appeals court also rejected that
Assange's lawyer, Per E. Samuelson,
said the defence team would appeal
the ruling to the Supreme Court.
Swede court upholds
toll over 4,300
Ukrainian volunteer fighters engage in a shootout with rebels in the village of Peski near Donetsk, eastern
Ukraine, on Wednesday. Fighting has continued in the east despite a cease-fire agreement between Ukraine
and the rebels signed in September. AP PHOTO
in Congress for doing so.
The leaders of Ukraine, Poland and Moldova,
meanwhile, met yesterday in the Moldovan capital
of Chisinau over concerns about Russian influence
in eastern Ukraine. They said both Ukraine and
Moldova should continue their pro-European paths.
"The United States is one of the
initiators of the conflict on the
territory of Ukraine, and if they sell
weapons, the conflict will escalate,"
---Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of
President Vladimir Putin's Security
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