HRC50 – ID on HC oral update on situation in Mariupol – 16 June 2022 – Statement by Estonia

Mr President, Madam High Commissioner,

Estonia fully aligns with the statement delivered by the European Union and thanks the High Commissioner for her update.

Mariupol symbolises the brutality of Russia’s assault and the stubbornness of Ukraine’s resistance. Visually, the city of Mariupol now resembles those European cities that were turned into ruins during World War II.  For many Europeans today, the photos of the destroyed city of Mariupol look like a cover for Russki Mir magazine.

The international community lacks information on the fate of a large part of the city’s residents. There are no reliable figures on how many of them – mainly women and children – have been deported to Russia or to Russian-occupied territories. There are no data on how many people are in filtration camps or in prison. There are no numbers on how many people have been killed.

People who managed to escape from the city have told terrible stories.

Those responsible for war crimes committed by the aggressor state in Mariupol must be brought to justice. Estonia fully supports the investigation by the ICC and other initiatives, including the Commission of Inquiry. There is an urgent need to ensure immediate, unrestricted and secure access for international investigators.

 Last but not least – the soldiers of the Ukrainian army who defended Mariupol and surrendered and are now in prisonment, must be treated in accordance with the international humanitarian law and must be handed over to Ukraine through the exchange of prisoners.

I thank you!