: OSCE Chief Monitor to Ukraine condemns violence against watchdog in east

17:46 May. 28, 2016

OSCE Chief Monitor to Ukraine condemns violence against watchdog in east

An OSCE observer in the village of Zaitsevo (Getty Images)

OSCE monitors came under fire and had a drone shot down

The Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) Ertugrul Apakan on Friday expressed his dismay at two violent incidents putting SMM members in danger and preventing the Mission from effectively monitoring the situation in the conflict-affected east of Ukraine.

"An SMM patrol came under small-arms fire during a foot patrol in Avdiyivka-Yasynuvata area in Donetsk region on May 27; none of the patrol members was injured. Also today, the SMM's long-range unmanned aerial vehicle was downed while flying near "DPR"-controlled Horlivka," the OSCE said in a press release.

The Chief Monitor Apakan said: "I strongly condemn violence against our people and assets, serving to provide objective and impartial information on the situation in Ukraine. The SMM's freedom of movement is guaranteed by its mandate and reiterated by the Minsk Package of Measures, and interference with the work of the Mission constitutes a gross violation of both."

Apakan called on the sides to follow-up on both incidents and hold those responsible to account.

"This violence against the SMM is unacceptable. Impunity for people who threaten, violently mistreat or attack the SMM, or who violate its freedom of movement, must end," reiterated the Chief Monitor.

Reporting by UNIAN

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