In their recent meeting in Minsk, the humanitarian subgroup reviewed the results of the joined work on the lists of the detainees. According to the Ukrainian side, some of the detainees that we had claimed refused to be exchanged. We are aware of the pressure against our men by the Security Service of Ukraine, so we cannot take their word for it. Thus, we suggested a mechanism which could be used to keep record of those citizens who really wish to stay in the territory of Ukraine and who are not going to cross the delimitation line after being released. The notable feature of the mechanism is the involvement of impartial international organizations that can guarantee respect to the rights and freedoms of the detainees.
I raised the issue of documents for released people. The Ukrainian side does not return them. In this regard, I would like to recall that three of 15 persons, who were released in December, did not receive their IDs back. I was surprised when our opponents claimed that all 15 persons were granted pardon. Even the official web-page of the Ukrainian President says there were only 9. The very fact of release of these people means that the Ukrainian side can give freedom to people who were accused of gravest crimes by Ukrainian judicial bodies upon its political will. This argument was used when we came up with more than 60 persons who cannot be released due to serious crimes they have committed.
I also highlighted the issue of documents for persons who had been released before. I recall that there are more than 150 of those, who cannot come to the territory of Ukraine and get these documents personally. I suggested involving UN human rights representatives, who could mediate the procedure: take the documents from Ukraine and pass those to our men.
Thus, we arrived at significant results on negotiating the list of detainees thanks to the constructive dialogue of the representatives of the humanitarian subgroup. The results of our joint work on coordinating the list enables us to discuss the exchange of all persons confirmed by both sides. I can confidently say that the yesterdays’ meeting was a complete success and one more step towards release of our men. I hope, the long-awaited exchange will be performed soon.
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