SBU / Photo from UNIAN

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) says documentary evidence has been gathered from testimonies of nearly 500 former hostages about torture in the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions controlled by Russian proxy forces.

Ukrainian men who had been released from militant captivity told the investigators of physical torture and tremendous psychological pressure on prisoners on the part of terrorists, according to the SBU press service.

The SBU urged human rights organizations to assist former hostages of Russian proxy forces in preparing relevant appeals to the European Court of Human Rights.

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At the same time, the SBU refuted allegations claiming a number of so-called "secret prisons" exist in Ukraine, and stressed that the agency operates exclusively within the framework of law, as confirmed by international human rights watchdogs.

As reported earlier, the U.S. Department of State has pointed at Russia's violations of human rights in the occupied Crimea, including murder, torture and disappearance of people. The occupation authorities have since the start of the annexation imposed on the peninsula the laws of the Russian Federation.