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21 August 2017
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SBU explains denial of access to prisons for UN SPT: Russian in mission

The Security Service of Ukraine denied access to the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) to several locations in Mariupol and Kramatorsk due to the presence of a "Russian" in the mission, First Deputy Minister of Justice Natalia Sevostianova told journalists on Thursday, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

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According to Sevostianova, the UN delegation monitored all penal institutions, which it had planned to visit in Ukraine. But the representatives of the secret services did not allow conducting an unscheduled inspection of the SBU premises in Mariupol and Kramatorsk.

"The SBU argues that a citizen of the Russian Federation was a member of the monitoring mission," she said.

Kremlin's prisoners: Media tell of Ukrainians thrown into Russian dungeonsSevostianova added that at 14:00 on Thursday, she was planning to hold a meeting with representatives of the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and the SBU.

As UNIAN reported earlier, on May 25, the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) suspended its visit to Ukraine after being denied access to places in several parts of the country where it suspected people were being deprived of their liberty by the SBU Security Service of Ukraine.

"This denial of access is in breach of Ukraine's obligations as a State party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture. It has meant that we have not been able to visit some places where we have heard numerous and serious allegations that people have been detained and where torture or ill-treatment may have occurred," said Malcolm Evans, head of the four-member delegation, in a statement issued by the OHCHR.

The delegation concluded that the integrity of the visit, which began on May 19 and was due to end on May 26, had been compromised to such an extent that it had to be suspended, as the SPT mandate could not be fully carried out.

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