Statement from Daria Morozova following Minsk meeting

Comments and statements of the Ombudsman Detention News

At the today’s meeting of the Humanitarian Subgroup of the Contact Group on peaceful settlement in Donbass, we have proposed to perform the exchange under the formula “all confirmed for all confirmed” as soon as possible.

It has been confirmed that 101 persons are now in detention in Ukraine and 50 persons – in the Donetsk People’s Republic. At the working subgroup meeting, we suggested that the exchange be performed under the specified format. We expressed this initiative to Mr. Frisch.

As a result of the exchange of 27 December 2017, we observed the failure of the Ukrainian side to fully fulfil its commitments. They unilaterally substituted one name with another one and removed some of the names from the list. Also, they continued the criminal prosecution of exchanged persons and failed to provide their identity documents. In addition, we will not agree on the stage-by-stage exchange, having encountered a bitter experience of non-fulfilment of assurances previously given by the Ukrainian side, which we can still observe.

In that regard, we insisted on the following procedure for performing the exchange. The parties shall be given time for “procedural clearance”. We would need about a month, and the Ukrainian side requested about six weeks. When prepared, the information on cessation of criminal prosecution of persons to be exchanged shall be provided to Mr. Frisch at the meeting of the working subgroup. Then, he would report on it at the meeting of the Contact Group. After the parties have fulfilled all commitments undertaken, the CG shall establish a date of the exchange.

In addition, I also raised the issue of forcible abduction of Vladimir Tsemakh and the unlawful custody of him in the territory of Ukraine at today’s meeting. The authorized representative of the Ukrainian side Valeria Lutkovskaia said she had no official information at that moment, although she assured that is would be provided by her later. I asked Mr. Frisch to pay special attention to this case and visit Vladimir Tsemakh as part of his visit to Kiev.

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