– This is completely cocooned, says Conservative politician Peter Frølich to Nettavisen.
A few days ago, a message from Amnesty International suddenly appeared on Twitter. The text read: “Ukrainian forces have put civilians at risk by establishing bases and weapons systems in populated areas. Such moves violate human rights and put civilians at risk, by turning civilians into military targets.”
The background for the claim is a report Amnesty has prepared. It didn’t take long before there was a storm in social media. Professor at the University of Bergen, Knut Einar Skodvin criticizes the report and believes that Amnesty’s claims cannot be verified either in fact or in law, because they are far too thin.
– It is absolutely incredible how Amnesty has failed to see Ukraine’s need to use the military to defend civilians from rape, torture and executions, he writes.
Requires washing up
Right-wing politician Peter Frølich has also entered the case, and believes that Amnesty needs to be cleaned up.
– This is a classic example of false balance. Russia is breaking every imaginable rule, and Ukraine is forced to protect itself. They must fight and die to protect their citizens, whether the fighting takes place in cities, villages, forests, hills or plains, says Frølich.
He clarifies that he has nothing against real criticism of Ukraine. But that these claims are both legally dubious and far from reality. The Ukrainian Amnesty has come out clearly against the report, and believes that it is not true at all.
– The most hair-raising thing is how they have completely overrun their own employees in Amnesty Ukraine. The report is a humiliation and a solid self-shot, he says to Nettavisen.
Amnesty Norway defends the report
The Norwegian arm of the organization Amnesty does not want to distance itself from the report, and believes the report reveals important matters.
Communications adviser Varin Hiwa tells Nettavisen that they have seen a worrying pattern over time, where Ukrainian forces use a war strategy that puts lives at risk.
– That is why we launched a thorough investigation which resulted in a report in which Amnesty documents that Ukrainian war tactics are sometimes contrary to international humanitarian law, she says.
Hiwa emphasizes that Amnesty in no way excuses the attacks and killings of thousands of people by Russian forces.
– Amnesty’s report has deliberately chosen to mention the places where we fear Ukrainian military presence contributes to endangering the lives of civilians in vague terms in order to avoid these places being exposed to Russian attacks, points out Hiwa.
The answers are met with little understanding by the critics.
– The regime in Russia is probably satisfied. They will continue as before, but can push this piece of work out of a report in front of them, says Conservative politician Peter Frølich.