Canada urges Russia to respect Ukrainian PoWs rights comply with intl law obligations

Amid the ongoing brutal war between Moscow and Kyiv, Canada has expressed worries over the reports that stated that Russia and its allies plan to trial Ukraine’s prisoners of war before an “international tribunal”. Taking to Twitter, Canada’s Office of Human Rights, Freedoms and Inclusion said that they have urged Russia to uphold its duties under international law and “to respect all members of Ukraine’s armed forces’ right to be treated as PoWs”. 

Canada is concerned by reports that Russia and its proxies intend to try prisoners of war before a so-called “international tribunal.” We urge Russia to comply with its int’l law obligations & to respect all members of Ukraine’s armed forces’ right to be treated as PoWs.

— Human Rights (@RightsGAC) August 26, 2022

According to the Ukrinform report, Canada has denounced the plans of the Russian invaders and their proxies in Donbas to hold a mock trial of Ukrainian PoWs in the city of Mariupol which has been occupied. As previously reported, Mariupol’s Russian occupation authorities intend to organise show trials for Ukrainian soldiers who have been captured. 

The embattled Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky asserted that by conducting such a show trial, Russia will distance itself from the possibility of engaging in discussions.

US condemns Russia’s attempt to establish Ukrainian prisoner of war trials

Besides Canada, on August 24, the United States denounced any Russian attempt to establish prisoner of war trials in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, further calling the process “illegitimate.” Ned Price, a spokesperson for the US State Department, claimed that Moscow is seeking to transfer responsibility for the invasion of Ukraine, as per media reports. 

Furthermore, Price emphasised that Ukraine’s armed forces personnel, which includes both domestic and foreign volunteers incorporated into the forces, are entitled to the status of “prisoner of war” under the Geneva Conventions and must be given the care and protections made in accordance with that designation if they are taken as prisoners. 

According to the media reports, the spokesperson said, “By planning to hold so-called ‘tribunals’ in Russia-controlled Mariupol against Ukraine’s brave defenders, the Kremlin is attempting to deflect responsibility for President Putin’s war of aggression and distract from overwhelming evidence of the atrocities Russian forces have committed in Ukraine.” He added, “The planned show trials are illegitimate and a mockery of justice, and we strongly condemn.” 

Canada sanctions Russia

Due to the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced fresh penalties against the Russian government’s supporters. In light of the current war, he also offered Ukraine extra support. According to a press statement from the Canadian government, Trudeau made the declaration while taking part in the virtual conference for the state and government of the International Crimea Platform. 

 In relation to 62 close affiliates of the Russian government and a defence industry organisation, Trudeau announced fresh sanctions. High-ranking members of the Russian government, which includes governors and regional leaders, as well as their families and top executives of organisations in the defence industry, are among those who have been sanctioned. By creating a team to improve Ottawa’s capacity to comprehend, track, and recognise Russian and other state-sponsored disinformation, Trudeau promised that Canada will continue to combat the misinformation spread by Russia.    

(Image: AP)

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