: PACE calls for release of all prisoners in Donbas, punishment of those responsible

09:50 Apr. 22, 2016

PACE calls for release of all prisoners in Donbas, punishment of those responsible

General view of the plenary room of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, eastern France, June 22, 2009 (AP photo)

Resolution urges  all parties to the conflict "implement, without further delay, the Minsk agreement, especially prioritising the paragraph on the release of all captured persons" 

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has adopted a resolution in which it pointed at the inhumane treatment of prisoners captured during the war in the east of Ukraine and called on all parties to the conflict to do everything for their release.

The corresponding resolution was voted on Thursday in Strasbourg during the meeting of the PACE after the report titled "The humanitarian concerns with regard to people captured during the war in Ukraine" was presented by a Latvian deputy Nellija Kleinberg, an UNIAN correspondent reported.

65 delegates supported the resolution, while three abstained and no votes cast against it.

The resolution states that since the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and the beginning of military aggression in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine, "hundreds of Ukrainian servicemen and civilians have been reported captured or abducted."

Read also 'Hybrid annexation' in eastern Ukraine

While some of the prisoners were released, the Parliamentary Assembly "is deeply concerned about the numerous reports of inhumane and degrading treatment of captured persons, who are subjected to torture, ill-treatment and sexual violence. Moreover, there is also evidence that captured persons have been executed by the separatist forces."

Read also 25 Ukrainians could possibly be freed from captivity

The Assembly says it is also very worried about the situation in Crimea where, since the illegal annexation of the peninsula by the Russian Federation, the "de facto authorities have been using Russian legislation against extremism, separatism and terrorism to detain Crimean-Tatar and Ukrainian activists."

Furthermore, the Assembly is alarmed by reports from human rights defenders concerning 13 Ukrainian prisoners reportedly being detained by the Russian authorities in violation of international law on fabricated charges. "The most flagrant example is the case of a member of the Parliamentary Assembly, Ms Nadiya Savchenko, who was forcibly taken to the Russian Federation and has been illegally held in custody since June 2014 despite,inter alia, her enjoying immunity under Article 40.a of the Statute of the Council of Europe and the General Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Council of Europe and its Protocol  to which the Russian Federation is a Party," PACE states.

Full story on UNIAN

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