Ukraine’s Security Service released all secretly detained, militants none – Amnesty International

Kyiv, January 25, 2017.

Ukraine’s office of Amnesty International reports on the changes that have been in place on both sides of the conflict as to the illegally detained since respective report was published in the mid-2016.

Ukraine’s Security Service has released all 18 persons whom, according to international human rights defenders, were secretly holding in detention for a long time and who were subject to ill treatment. At the same time no positive developments on the part of militants were registered, said Oksana Pokalchuk, director of Amnesty International in Ukraine, at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

Meanwhile “Ukrainian authorities did not acknowledge the mere fact of the [secret] detentions and did not use efficient measures to hold liable those responsible for the violations. That is why it is not possible to state that this flagrant practice was ceased. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have not registered any positive developments as to the detained by Russia-backed separatists,” she noted.

Nine Ukrainians still held captive by separatists

Human rights defenders report that nine Ukraine supporters were illegally detained, in the territories that Ukrainian government does not control, last year. “Russia-backed ‘authorities’ in eastern Ukraine are illegally and arbitrarily holding persons in detention. They do not get access to legal assistance and cannot contact their relatives. The so-called ‘ministry for state security’ enjoys full impunity, people do not have any chance to protect their rights or prove they are innocent,” said Krassimir Yankov, Amnesty International researcher for Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. The illegally detained include religion historian Ihor Kozlovsky and blogger Volodymyr Fomichyov. “The charges are completely groundless. Russia-backed ‘authorities’ need to stop using them as a ‘swap resource’,” Yankov said.

Ukraine’s Security Service releases 18 persons

Tanya Cooper, Human Rights Watch researcher in Ukraine, said that among the 8 persons released from the Kharkiv office of Ukraine’s Security Service there were two citizens of the Russian Federation. They are Vladimir Bezobrazov and Vladislav Kandalov. The first one was detained in Odesa in 2014 while being out in the evening he “was expressing himself critical of the Ukrainian authorities”. The latter was fighting on the “LPR” side and was taken captive.


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