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Kiev using secret prisons, Donetsk human rights ombudsman reveals

January 25, 12:19 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Former captives have uncovered details on a secret network of prisons used by Kiev, the Donetsk human rights ombudsman says

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© AP Photo/Manu Brabo

MOSCOW, January 25. /TASS/. Former captives have uncovered details on a secret network of prisons used by Kiev, human rights ombudsman of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Darya Morozova said on Thursday.

"We found out from an interview with released captives that the practice of secret prisons is still in place in Ukraine," Morozova said during a video linkup at a roundtable hosted by TASS and devoted to reports by international organizations on the crimes in Donbass.

The Donetsk republic’s authorities are doing their best to inform the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) when the rights of individuals captured by Ukraine are violated, she added.

The self-proclaimed Donetsk republic has had fruitful cooperation with international organizations in this field, she said. "Thanks to cooperation with the UN on human rights one year and a half ago we managed to uncover a secret prison and 12 individuals were released from there," Morozova said.

The self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic sees no obstacles for holding a new prisoner swap with Ukraine within a month, she added.

"Given our experience, we can surely carry out the exchange within a month," Morozova said during a video linkup at a roundtable hosted by TASS and devoted to reports by international organizations on the crimes in Donbass.

As many as 4,572 civilians have been killed in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic since the Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014. According to her, "4,572 civilians have been killed, including 3,967 men, 605 women and 76 children under the age of 18."

"In 2017, 278 people were killed on DPR soil, including two children, while another 595 people, with 14 children among them, suffered various wounds," Morozova added.

On December 27, 2017, a prisoner swap, the largest so far, took place on the line of contact in Donbass. Kiev handed over 233 prisoners to the Donbass republics and received 73 prisoners in return. Both parties stressed that the prisoner exchange process had not been completed and they were determined to do everything possible to continue it in 2018.

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