Ukraine activist says he was kidnapped, tortured

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A leading Ukrainian opposition activist who vanished for eight days has emerged bloodied and badly beaten, saying his captors cut off an ear before dumping him in a forest.

Dmytro Bulatov, a 35-year-old opposition activist said his unknown captors cut off an ear and drove nails through his hands before dumping him in a forest.

Speaking slowly and visibly shaken by his experience, Bulatov said his unknown captors blindfolded and abused him before dumping him in a forest outside the Ukrainian capital, from where he was able to make his way to a nearby village.

'My hands ... they crucified me, nailed me, cut my ear off, cut my face,' Bulatov told Ukraine's Channel 5 television, still wearing his blood-soaked clothes and pointing to holes on his palms. 'Thank God I am alive.'

'I can't see well now, because I sat in darkness the whole time,' he said, adding that he was unable to see his captors.
   
The US Embassy in Kiev posted a picture of Bulatov with a blackened gash on his cheek and said that "the government of Ukraine must take full responsibility for the timely investigation, capture, and prosecution of those responsible for this heinous crime."

The White House said it was "appalled" at indications a leading Ukrainian opposition protestor, who surfaced after being missing for eight days, had been tortured.

Washington was "deeply concerned" by increasing reports of protestors disappearing and being beaten and of attacks on journalists during Ukraine's deepening political crisis -- as well as by suggestions that President Viktor Yanukovych's security forces were involved, said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
   
"I would note that we were appalled by the obvious signs of torture -- torture -- inflicted on protest leader Dmytro Bulatov," Carney said.
   

Source AFP

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