Ukraine’s Ombudsman not allowed to Ukrainian political prisoners for four days

Source : 112 Ukraine

Vice Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Gerashchenko added that Ukrainian side makes all possible to exchange prisoners during the FIFA World Cup 2018
17:00, 18 June 2018


Ukraine’s Ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova has been staying in Russian Federation four days and she is still not allowed to visit Ukrainian political prisoners. This was reported Ukraine’s representative in Trilateral Contact Group humanitarian subgroup in Minsk Iryna Gerashchenko, reports 112 Ukraine TV channel.

"Lyudmyla Denisova has been in Russia for four days and during this time she could have visited at least four political prisoners scattered over the terrible prisons of a huge territory of Russian Federation. We protest against the failure to implement high-level agreements and obstructing visits of Ukrainian Ombudsman. Furthermore, the fact that Lyudmyla Denisova is not allowed to Oleg Sentsov, as I see it, is very alarming. Perhaps and most likely, they hide the worsening of his health. 36 days of hunger is not good for health," she said.

At the same time, Iryna Gerashchenko commented on the possibility of exchanging prisoners during the World Cup.

Related: Russia refuses to let Ukrainian ombudswoman see Sentsov

"Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Klimkin said that we, the Ukrainian side, are doing everything to ensure that this process was unblocked. We believe that the FIFA World Cup would be a good chance for Vladimir Putin to release political prisoners of Kremlin, demonstrating such humanitarian gesture to the world. Whether this will happen or not, unfortunately, does not depend on Ukraine, because we are ready to unblock it," she added.

As it was reported earlier, a famous American writer Stephen King urged to support Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov illegally detained in Russia.

Oleg Sentsov, the 2017 recipient of the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award, has been held prisoner by the Russian government for more than four years. In May 2014, he was detained in his native Crimea and brought to Moscow on unsubstantiated allegations of terrorism. Numerous governments and human rights organizations have identified these allegations as politically charged, groundless fabrications orchestrated in retaliation for Sentsov’s outspoken criticism of Russia’s annexation of Crimea. On August 25, 2015, Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Sentsov himself says he was tortured during his detention in an unsuccessful attempt to extract a false confession. One of the defendants, Hennadij Afanasjew, later retracted his own testimony against Sentsov, saying he was brutally tortured into saying Sentsov was part of a terrorist organization. Two appeals of the verdict have been rejected, as has a request for Sentsov to be extradited to Ukraine. Sentsov has always maintained his innocence.

Related: Sentsov's hunger strike: Ukraine's ombudswoman Denisova goes to Labytnangi

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