Principals of all schools in Melitopol refuse to cooperate with occupation authorities, three of them abducted – ombudsman
Principals of several city schools who refused to cooperate with the self-proclaimed authorities and conduct the educational process in the Russian language in Melitopol, Zaporizhia region, occupied by Russian troops, were taken to an unknown destination, Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova has said.
"The invaders decided to start the educational process in Russian according to Russian programs in the city on April 4. Thus, the occupiers are trying to force the children to stay in the city, and in the event of an offensive by the Armed Forces of Ukraine, they can be used as a human shield," the ombudsman said in a Telegram channel on Friday.
According to her, all principals of Melitopol schools refused to cooperate with the enemy, therefore they wrote letters of resignation.
"As a result, the self-proclaimed mayor of Melitopol, Halyna Danylchenko, ordered the Russian military to expel disobedient school administrators from the city. The night before, the invaders came to the home of three principals, Anzhelina Kovalenko, Olena Halatsan and Liudmyla Chuhay and took them to an unknown direction," Denisova said.
The ombudswoman said that by taking hostages, Russian militants grossly violate Articles 3 and 34 of the Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"The act of compelling education by the occupants and interference in the educational process is a direct violation of the right to cultural and national identity, guaranteed by article 29 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the right to education in accordance with articles 24 and 94 of the 1949 Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilian Persons during war," Denisova said.