Denisova briefs the British ambassador on Ukrainian captives in Donbas / Photo from UNIAN

As many as 251 Ukrainian citizens are being held captive in Russia-occupied Donbas.

Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova said on Facebook on December 11 she had informed British Ambassador to Ukraine Melinda Simmons about this during a working meeting.

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"I've informed that 251 Ukrainian citizens are being held captive in the temporarily occupied territories of Donbas. It is yet impossible to monitor the observance of their rights and conditions in places of detention. Therefore, I asked the Ambassador to turn to the International Committee of the Red Cross for more efforts to ensure their access to those territories and appropriate monitoring," she said.

In addition, the human rights commissioner called on the ambassador to ask representatives of her country to support during the vote on December 16 a UN General Assembly resolution on the human rights situation in occupied Crimea.

"It contains important clauses on providing consular officers of Ukraine with information about Ukrainian citizens in the Russian Federation, ensuring their freedom of contact and communication in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which the Russian Federation is a party, and providing Ukrainian officials, including a human rights commissioner, the opportunity to visit all Ukrainian citizens, including political prisoners in the temporarily occupied Crimea and the Russian Federation, and the immediate release of all Kremlin prisoners," Denisova explained.

According to Denisova, the two officials discussed the possibility of cooperation to provide technical and expert support in strengthening the institutional capacity of the Office of the Ombudsman of Ukraine through the creation of an Educational Center for Human Rights with representative offices in the regions to raise the legal awareness of citizens about their rights.

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