There are reasons to believe that detainees, about whom Ukraine does not provide information, are no longer alive – Daria Morozova

Comments and statements of the Ombudsman News

In the course of the working visit to the DPR, the OSCE coordinator in the Minsk Humanitarian Group Charlotta Relander held confidential meetings with detainees. Ambassador was given the opportunity to see first-hand that the lives and health of these citizens are not in danger. This is a fundamental point, especially against the background of messages about human rights violations in the institutions of the republican penitentiary system, the source of which was the Ukrainian Ombudsman.

Mrs. Denisova publishes messages in her public pages at regular intervals about the allegedly critical condition of detainees and non-assistance to them in the DPR. At the same time, chronic diseases diagnosed long before detention are positioned as newly acquired. At the same time, I have not received any requests or appeals on these cases from the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights, although there are no obstacles for this from our side. Moreover, earlier the human rights institutions of the DPR and Ukraine practiced such formats of interaction on other issues.

These points were brought to the attention of Ambassador Relander, and also she was informed about probable causes for such insinuations. Thus, 94 people are included in the list of citizens whom the DPR is looking for on the territory of Ukraine to date. More than 60 of them were detained at the beginning of the conflict, but since 2015 Ukraine has not responded to our requests regarding their status and whereabouts. At the same time, we have objective data confirming that these people were detained by Ukrainian law enforcement agencies or nationalist battalions, including by testimonies of participants in previous exchanges, eyewitnesses, video recordings of the moments of detention from open sources.

It should be noted that the DPR has repeatedly sent its wanted list to the International Committee of the Red Cross with a request to clarify the whereabouts of people. However, these efforts have not yet borne fruit. As a result, today more than 60 families continue to live in ignorance, considering the imprisonment of their loved ones as the best possible scenario…

Under the circumstances, we regard Ukraine’s silence as an attempt to cover up the traces of its war crimes. And in this context, the purpose of the informational provocations described above is absolutely obvious to switch the focus of public attention from a “problematic” for Kiev topic.

Given all the above mentioned, this gives grounds to assume that the detainees, about whom Ukraine has not provided information for so many years, are no longer alive. And these facts should be the subject of an international investigation.

At this stage, I’m looking forward to assistance by Ambassador Charlotta Relander in locating and clarifying the health status of our citizens. Also, the last name list of the persons wanted by the DPR was sent again to the address of the ICRC Office.