Ukraine to release 15 Donbas convicts, expects "humanism" in response
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed decree No. 561 to pardon nine convicts.
The Head of State considered the petition for pardon of individuals convicted by Ukrainian courts and proposals by the Amnesty Commission, taking into account the severity of the crimes committed, the term of the actual sentence, the identity of convicts, their marital status, social behavior before the crime was committed and after conviction, compensation for damages, and the elimination of the damage inflicted, the opinion of penal institutions and supervisory committees on expediency of pardoning and other circumstances, and thus, in accordance with Paragraph 27 of Article 106 of the Constitution of Ukraine, he decided to pardon nine people.
The decree came into force on the day of its signing.
Read alsoOSCE envoy Sajdik says when "all-for-all" POW swaps in Donbas possibleFirst Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's representative in the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral contact group on Donbas settlement, Iryna Gerashchenko wrote on Facebook that the decree should contribute to the release of Ukrainians from the militant captivity.
"I am very grateful to the president for this act of mercy, for his devoted efforts to do everything possible for the release of the hostages," Gerashchenko wrote, commenting on the signing of the decree by Poroshenko.
According to Gerashchenko, in the coming days, the Ukrainian side will release from custody 15 previously convicted offenders as an act of humanism. Most of them received a presidential pardon, among them six women, the elderly and the sick.
"We expect that the other side will show humanism on holiday eve and the process of hostage release will be unlocked," she said.
Read alsoReleasing Ukrainian hostages"The work of the humanitarian group was fully dedicated to this topic in Minsk. A few hours of a hard debate. I'm stating with the cautious optimism that we have a promise that the teenagers arrested for "subversive activities" will meet New Year's holidays in their family circle. We're promised it, and we will be happy if the kids are with their families (who live in the occupied Donetsk)," Gerashchenko said.
According to her, some media are spreading false information that those pardoned will be exchanged for someone. "This is a wrong interpretation of events. The Ukrainian side shows an act of humanism. We hope that all the others must also show humanism. We are looking for ways to find a compromise and unlock the issue of the release. But so far, the other side sent no specific signals," she added.