Ukraine to once again raise in Minsk talks issue of release of Ukrainian political prisoners – Gerashchenko

16:00, 24 July 2018
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Photo from UNIAN

Ukraine's Representative in the humanitarian subgroup of the Tripartite Contact Group for the Donbas settlement, First Deputy Chair of the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Gerashchenko has said the Ukrainian side at the talks of the Trilateral Contact Group on the settlement of the situation in Donbas in Minsk on July 25 will again raise the issue of the release of Ukrainian hostages and political prisoners.

According to her, during another meeting with families of political prisoners and hostages of the Kremlin, Ukrainian Ombudsperson Liudmyla Denisova, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Presidential Administration and other institutions informed about the work carried out by the authorities to release and support hostages and political prisoners.

In this regard, Gerashchenko said she shared the indignation of the families of political prisoners who still do not receive assistance from the state for lawyers defending Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in Crimea.

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In this regard, she recalled the parliament had laid significant amounts in the budget for the support of political prisoners and their families, including for legal services, worth over UAH 90 million.

"We have reported that together with Liudmyla Denisova, as well as colleagues Maria Ionova and Iryna Fryz, we appealed to the government with a request to take a decision and register an algorithm for supporting families of political prisoners, as well as informed about legislative initiatives on the status of political prisoners. I hope the Verkhovna Rada will return to these issues in September," she wrote on Facebook.

The participants of the meeting also exchanged actual information on the state of health of political prisoners, the latest news received from consuls and lawyers, from relatives about the health of Oleh Sentsov, Volodymyr Balukh, Pavlo Hryb, Stanislav Klykh and others.

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"We have also coordinated our next actions to put pressure on the world community to press Russia on the issue of releasing hostages and political prisoners, to demand that the International Committee of the Red Cross knock on all doors to gain access to our prisoners illegally detained in the Russian Federation, occupied Donbas and Crimea," Gerashchenko said.

In addition, she said the Ombudsperson continued to make efforts to gain access to Ukrainians in Russian prisons. "We will raise these issues, the non-compliance of the Russian Federation with the agreements of the presidents on the humanitarian exchange of visits by ombudsmen, at a meeting in Minsk on July 25, as well as the issue of the release of hostages, the search for missing persons. We are still waiting for an official response from the Russian Federation to the proposal to swap 36 Russians for 23 our citizens," Gerashchenko added.

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