Russian strike on Mariupol theater in Ukraine was a conflict crime, Amnesty Worldwide says

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The bombing of a theater in Mariupol, Ukraine, the place a whole bunch of civilians had been sheltering within the early weeks of Russia’s invasion, amounted to a “clear war crime,” Amnesty Worldwide stated in a report launched on Thursday. 

The human rights group interviewed dozens of survivors of the assault and analyzed satellite tv for pc imagery, radar information, architectural blueprints of the construction, and video proof in coming to its conclusion. 

“Many people were injured and killed in this merciless attack. Their deaths were likely caused by Russian forces deliberately targeting Ukrainian civilians,” Amnesty Worldwide Secretary Basic Agnès Callamard stated in a press release on Thursday. 

“The International Criminal Court, and all others with jurisdiction over crimes committed during this conflict, must investigate this attack as a war crime. All those responsible must be held accountable for causing such death and destruction.”

The drama theater in Mariupol, which is a key port metropolis on the coast of the Sea of Azov, grew to become a gathering level for civilians who had been fleeing violence and looking for meals, water, and shelter. 

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On the morning of March 16, Amnesty Worldwide believes that two 500kg bombs had been dropped on the theater by Russian tactical fighter plane. 

“There was no legitimate military objective proximate to the [theater]. There was no significant military presence inside or close to the [theater] at the time of the attack, or during the days before the attack,” Amnesty Worldwide stated in its assertion. 

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“CHILDREN” had been written in massive Russian letters on the bottom outdoors the theater for at the very least three days main up the assault. 

Russia claimed that its forces captured Mariupol in late Could after about two months of intense preventing. 

Estimates of deaths differ extensively. Amnesty International says at the very least a dozen individuals died, however the precise determine is probably going a lot greater. The Mariupol Metropolis Council stated 300 died, whereas an Related Press investigation concluded that as many as 600 individuals perished. 

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Russia’s protection ministry has denied that their forces struck the theater, as an alternative accusing the Ukrainian military of blowing up the construction. 

The Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., didn’t return a request for touch upon Amnesty Worldwide’s report on Thursday. 

The Worldwide Prison Courtroom and UN Human Rights Council opened investigations into alleged Russian conflict crimes in Could. 

Legal professional Basic Merrick Garland visited Ukraine final week and reaffirmed the U.S.’s help in a gathering with Ukrainian Prosecutor Basic Iryna Venediktova. 

“America – and the world – has seen the many horrific images and read the heart-wrenching accounts of brutality and death that have resulted from Russia’s unjust invasion of Ukraine,” Garland stated in a press release. “There is no hiding place for war criminals.”

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