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Ukrainian army servicemen take part in drills at the shooting range in the Kherson region of Ukraine on July 2, 2021. Photo: OLEKSANDR GIMANOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Prisoners taken in the years-long conflict in eastern Ukraine have experienced systematic torture, sexual violence and other abuses, the United Nations human rights agency said in a report released Friday.

The big picture: Prisoners' abuse was especially severe during the early stages of the separatist conflict, but abuses persist today, according to the report issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Driving the news: Between 7,900 and 8,700 conflict-related detentions took place from April 14, 2014 through April 30 of this year. That includes 3,600 to 4,000 by the government side and 4,300 to 4,700 by separatists, OHCHR estimates.

  • Both sides used secret detention facilities not subject to prosecutorial oversight, according to AP.

What they're saying: "Seven years since the outbreak of the conflict, it is unacceptable that such egregious human rights violation remain largely unaddressed," Matilda Bogner, head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine said, per AP.

  • "The prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is absolute. Torture can never be justified," Bogner said.
  • In both the government-controlled and separatist-held territories, “torture and ill-treatment, including conflict-related sexual violence, were used to extract confessions or information, or to otherwise force detainees to cooperate, as well as for punitive purposes, to humiliate and intimidate, and to extort money and property,” the OHCHR said.

Go deeper: Scoop: Leaked Ukraine memo reveals scope of Russia's aggression

Go deeper

Justice Department investigating conditions in Georgia state prisons

Georgia Diagnostic Prison in Jackson, Ga., in 2002. Photo: Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images

The Justice Department on Tuesday announced a statewide investigation into conditions of prisons in Georgia, focusing on violence and abuse among inmates.

Driving the news: The investigation will focus on determining whether prisoners are provided with "reasonable protection from physical harm." It will also look at whether LGBTQ prisoners are protected from sexual abuse by other prisoners and staff.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congressman criminally charged with lying to feds

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) has been indicted on charges he falsified records and lied to federal investigators probing an illegal foreign donation scheme, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

Driving the news: DOJ says a Fortenberry associate, who later cooperated with investigators, informed him he'd likely received illegal donations from an intermediary for a foreign national, but that Fortenberry denied any knowledge of such a scheme when contacted by the FBI.

"Assassin's Creed," but for schools

"Viking Age: Discovery Tour." Image via Ubisoft

For the third time since 2018, Ubisoft is releasing a nonviolent version of its latest “Assassin’s Creed” game as part of a unique effort to turn one of the medium’s most popular series into an educational tool.

Driving the news:Viking Age: Discovery Tour” transforms last year’s “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla” from a bloody 150-hour game about Viking conquest in 9th century England into a peaceful four-hour game about merchants and monks.