Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the Council of Europe

, Kyiv 16:41

Permanent Representative of Ukraine Called on the Commissioner on Human Rights to Facilitate the Release of Kremlin's Political Prisoners

14 September 2017, 15:42

Statement of the Permanent Representative of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba on the 1293th meeting of the Committee of Ministers (Deputies) under point 4.1. Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights – Presentation of the 2nd quarterly activity report 2017

Dear Commissioner,

Thank you for your attention to the situation of human rights in Ukraine. Please be assured that Ukraine is always open for dialogue on every topic – soft one or hard one.

We appreciate your recent crisp and clear statement on the decision of the Crimean occupation authorities in the case of Ahtem Ciygoz.

Given the deteriorating situation in Crimea, I believe it is important to assess the current situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms on the peninsula as envisaged by paragraph 9 of the decision on Crimea adopted by the Committee of Ministers in May.

I would also like to take this opportunity to bring to your attention a truly shocking case. Mr Pavlo Hryb, a 19-year-old Ukrainian, was kidnapped in Belarus and transferred to the detention facility in the Russian Federation. It is yet another appalling example of Russia’s state policy of abduction and hostage-taking.

The European Court of Human Rights has already intervened into this case and requested Russia to provide information about Hryb’s current state of health, medical treatment prescribed by his doctors as well as medical treatment he has actually received. We call on you to closely monitor this case as well as the situation with other Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia and in the occupied Crimea:

Roman SUSHCHENKO, a Ukrainian journalist who arrived in the territory of the Russian Federation to visit relatives and was apprehended under a trumped-up charge of espionage.

Mykola SEMENA, a Ukrainian journalist who faces criminal charges in Russia-occupied Crimea for his professional activity;

Stanislav ASEYEV, a Ukrainian journalist who is kept as a prisoner in Donetsk by Russia’s proxies.

It is essential to protect their rights and secure their unconditional release. Your mandate, Commissioner, allows you to demand this and we expect that you will make relevant steps.

Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

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