POW status implies 'special' model for releasing Ukrainian seamen, - Ombudsman

Source : 112 Ukraine

Ukrainian sailors cannot be exchanged for criminals, according to Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War
19:14, 3 December 2018

Open source

The status of Ukrainian sailors as prisoners of war, according to the Geneva Convention, does not allow exchanging them for criminals, according to Ukraine’s Ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova. It was reported by Interfax-Ukraine agency.

"The Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War, to which Ukraine is a signatory, has been in effect since 1955. It clearly defines: prisoners of war cannot be exchanged for criminals," she said.

The Ombudsman said the status of sailors as prisoners of war does not allow it for their case to be considered in a regular court. They cannot be placed in pretrial detention facilities, including the Lefortovo prison, where they are currently kept. 

"This is a special status, and a special model of their release," Denisova said.

Related: Russia must provide information about captured sailors today, - Poroshenko

As we reported earlier the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy acted aggressively against the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov.   

‘Today, November 25, the ships of the Ukrainian Navy with two armored gunboats and a sea mule tugboat have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. The intention to make the transition was informed in advance in accordance with international standards in order to ensure the safety of navigation. However, contrary to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Treaty between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on cooperation in the use of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, the Russian coast guard ships - Sobol class patrol boat, Don border guard cruiser, Mangust class patrol boat and Suzdalets anti-submarine warfare ship performed blatantly aggressive acts against the ships of the Ukrainian Navy,’ reads the message. 

On November 25, Russian border guards captured the Yanu Kapu tugboat and small armored artillery boats of Ukraine's Naval Forces. The prisoners of war were transported to Moscow on November 29.

Ukraine’s Security Service intercepted the radio communications one of the Russian Security Service officers and the captain of Don, which rammed the Ukrainian tugboat Yanu Kapu.

Related: Captured Ukrainian sailors officially accused with 'illegal border crossing', - lawyer

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