New UN human rights chief Volker Türk condemns 'war crimes' in Ukraine

The new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Austria's Volker Türk, granted a wide-ranging interview to FRANCE 24 from Geneva. This week, the High Commissioner travelled to Ukraine to observe first-hand the consequences of Russia's invasion on the Ukrainian people. During his visit, Türk had to take cover in an underground shelter in Kyiv as Russian missiles hit civilian targets. Speaking to FRANCE 24, he condemned what he called "war crimes" in Ukraine: "The picture that emerges is [one of] torture, summary executions, disappearances, wilful killings of civilians and that's very, very tragic and shocking."

Turning to the situation in Iran, where the authorities have carried out the first execution of a protester following months of peaceful anti-regime demonstrations, with others likely to follow, Türk said: "I hope that reason will come back to the authorities and [that] they will actually impose a moratorium on executions and abolish the death penalty."

Asked about a recent deal on a political transition in Sudan, a country he also visited recently, Türk said: "I came back with guarded optimism about the course that the country wants to take and I was therefore very pleased to see that this political framework agreement was signed."

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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