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Iran Press TV

MH17 downing may constitute war crime: UN

Iran Press TV

Mon Jul 28, 2014 2:7PM GMT

The United Nations human rights chief says the alleged downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine may amount to a 'war crime.'

On Monday, Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, condemned the possible downing of the passenger plane as a "horrendous" crime and called for an independent inquiry into the incident.

'This violation of international law, given the prevailing circumstances, may amount to a war crime. It is imperative that a prompt, thorough, effective, independent and impartial investigation be conducted into this event,' she said.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was reportedly shot down over Ukraine's volatile eastern region of Donetsk on July 17, when it was flying from the Dutch city of Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing 298 passengers and crew on board.

Kiev and pro-Russia forces accuse each other of firing a surface-to-air missile at the passenger plane. The West also blames the incident on pro-Moscow activists.

According to latest reports, areas around the plane's crash site are the main battlefield between Ukrainian forces and the pro-Russians. The intensified fighting has prevented international investigators from reaching the crash area.

Ukraine launched military operations in Donetsk and Lugansk in mid-April to crush pro-Russia forces there. Violence increased in May after the two flashpoint regions held local referendums, in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine.

The United Nations says at least 1,129 people have been killed in the ongoing military campaign in eastern Ukraine.

SSM/AB/SS



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