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Red Cross fails to examine east Ukraine militia fighters tortured in captivity — DPR

August 21, 2015, 11:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Militia prisoners were released with obvious signs of torture, DPR human rights ombudsperson says

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A militia war prisoner released by Kiev, February 2015

A militia war prisoner released by Kiev, February 2015

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, August 21. /TASS/. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has examined none of the militia fighters from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) who were delivered by the Ukrainian military for the prisoner exchange with obvious signs of torture, DPR human rights ombudsperson Darya Morozova told Donetsk News Agency.

"During the largest prisoner swap on December 25, 2014, when our prisoners were exchanged in a terrible condition, with signs of abuse and violence, ICRC representatives were not even present there, even though this is within the scope of their competence," she said. "At that time, 200 people were released from captivity, and none of them was examined by the Red Cross."

According to Morozova, to date about 600 people who were recently in Ukrainian custody have not been examined by the ICRC mission either. "I have video footage and written interviews of these 200 people who were held captive, so please take and examine them. But all this remains not even at the stage of negotiations with the ICRC, but at the stage of talking," she added.

The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republic have handed over to Kiev 317 prisoners-of-war during the armed conflict as part of the official prisoner exchanges, and the Ukrainian side has released 287 people. Morozova earlier said that the number of people held captive by Ukrainian army exceeded 1,200 people.

The all-for-all prisoner swap is a key provision of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements signed on February 12 in Minsk, Belarus. It also envisages "pardons and amnesties by the enactment of a law prohibiting prosecution and punishment" of citizens in connection with developments in the Donbas region.

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