OSCE Chief Monitor Apakan condemns sexual harassment of SMM patrol member in Donetsk region
The Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, condemns the sexual harassment of an SMM patrol member by an armed man in the non-government controlled area of Donetsk region, which took place on May 5.
"Together with all OSCE participating States, the SMM condemns all forms of violence against women," said Apakan, the OSCE said in a press release.
"This latest incident, in which a man, armed with an assault rifle, intimidated an unarmed civilian female member of an SMM patrol by making comments of a sexual nature, demands a swift and unequivocal response by the so-called "Donetsk People's Republic." This must include identification of the individual responsible, and full application of appropriate measures to ensure that such incidents are not repeated."
Read alsoRFE/RL shows moment OSCE vehicle explodes in occupied Donbas"OSCE participating States have tasked the SMM's unarmed men and women to do a difficult job, and they are entitled to do this without fear of physical or verbal assault," said Apakan. "The Mission will not tolerate any attempt to intimidate, humiliate or otherwise interfere with the work of its staff."
The Trilateral Contact Group has tasked the Joint Centre for Control and Co-ordination (JCCC) with contributing to the security of SMM monitors. The SMM once again urges the JCCC to ensure that all possible measures are taken to preclude such conduct in future.