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Returning home from the captivity: Israel’s experience for Ukraine

Author : Volodymyr Pylypenko

11:15, 8 September 2016
Returning home from the captivity: Israel’s experience for Ukraine

Author : Volodymyr Pylypenko

Exchange of "terrorists," kept by the Ukrainian authorities, on imprisoned Ukrainian citizens is a great challenge not only for official Kyiv, but for each of us

11:15, 8 September 2016

Read the original text here: 112.ua.

Donbas captivity
Open source

Ukrainian state is often compared with Israel. I believe that this comparison is debatable. Even though we have different cultural traditions, mentality, and geography, but one thing unites us implicitly. I mean confrontation with the external enemy. Create a prosperous and high-tech country in the conditions of permanent conflict is not a simple task, but as we see, our distant neighbor managed to do it. Therefore, we have much to learn.

Lesson number one - the exchange of prisoners. In the context of Russian-Ukrainian war, this issue is extremely sharp. After all, hundreds of our fellow citizens are now in the basement of Russian mercenaries. How not cool, you have to negotiate with the enemy, too.

Related: Russian aggression against Ukraine. Crime and punishment

Exchange of "terrorists," kept by the Ukrainian authorities, on imprisoned Ukrainian citizens is a great challenge not only for official Kyiv, but for each of us. Therefore, it is high time to think about how to improve the legal instruments for the implementation of such an exchange.

Enormous experience of Israel would more than ever useful in this case. Successful long-term practice of liberation soldiers and civilians from the neighboring countries of captivity gave it a small but powerful state invaluable experience in the prosecution of terrorists and their exchange for its own citizens.

Of course, one of the most important achievements is the proof of the effectiveness of preventive legislation. What it is? Let us try to understand.

Related: DNR stated Kyiv released seven prisoners of self-proclaimed republic

An example of such a legal instrument is the procedure of "re-arrest" of the former prisoners. It is "activated" in certain circumstances. Convicted instantly fall behind bars if violate conditions of release or commit illegal acts during a certain period, or when political expediency of their dismissal disappears.

The main purpose of this "re-arrest" procedure is to prevent the released person, as a part of the exchange of the militants, from committing the crimes again.

The legal basis for a "re-arrest" should be the solution of a special body or court. At the same time, the presence of procedural guarantees for the accused is of critical importance to ensure the effectiveness of the system. After all, the state should provide everyone the right for a fair trial. Applying the Israeli experience, we would have negated the threat of procedural violations, because of which, as we can see, the cases simply "crumble" in the court.

Related: Herashchenko: We should negotiate on prisoners swap with Russia, not with militants

Meanwhile, by applying special rules, it is realistic to regulate the particular release of convicted for grave crimes committed with special cruelty or against the most vulnerable groups (children, seniors, people with disabilities). We should establish additional requirements to the dismissal of such persons and conditions, the violation of which will result in irreversible quick and severe punishment.

At the same time, the victims (or members of their families) have the right to appeal against the decision to release convicted criminals. This would allow removing unnecessary social tension. Also it provides legal protection for the interests of the offended party and takes appropriate resolution of conflicts in the legal plane.

This approach ensures a balance of decisions. Terrorists may commit crimes counting on a relatively early release through the exchange. That is why tough and uncompromising attitude of relatives regarding the perpetrators of the most serious crimes overrides the ability to easily exchange.

 

Related: Security Service of Ukraine to consider Savchenko as ally for prisoners’ release in Donbas

Ukraine can and even should use the positive experience of Israel. We have no right to forget about our people, who are now in the dungeons of the terrorists. They risked their lives for the sake of the state. So the least we can do for them is find the optimal model for their early release.

Our duty is not to let the enemy use our concessions against us. After all, it would negate the tremendous effort made by the authorities, the army, and the civil society aimed on building an effective defense policy.

We must carefully study all possible options, in particular, the experience of those who have achieved considerable success in this.

Related: The so-called "DNR" say never negotiated with Savchenko on prisoner exchange

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