Hostage release, political prisoners issues unresolved, their number increasing - Poroshenko at PACE
The number of hostages in Donbas is growing, and the issue of their release is not being resolved, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said.
"The issue of the release of hostages and political prisoners has no progress. I can not help but think of Oleh Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Roman Suschenko, etc. For over two years we have been fighting for the release of 63-year-old Ihor Kozlovsky, a well-known religious scholar who remained in the occupied Donetsk to take care of his sick son. And also 28-year-old Stanyslav Aseyev, a journalist who was not afraid to write the truth about life in the occupied Donbas ... And there are over 100 such personal stories of Ukrainian hostages. Moreover, the hostage number in Donbas is only growing," Poroshenko said at the plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on Wednesday.
He said that Ukrainian citizens are deliberately captured "with a malice intention to blackmail Ukraine, which will never leave its citizens either in Crimea, Donbas, or in Russian prisons."
"Also, systemic repressions have turned the Crimean peninsula into an island of unfreedom and a land of fear. Russia applies the worst practices of the Soviet repressive machine in the occupied Crimea. Everyone who does not accept the so-called "reunification with Russia" becomes a victim of arbitrary detention, persecution, tortures, extrajudicial executions and inhuman treatment," the president of Ukraine said, recalling that "just the other day the deputy chairman of the Parliament of the Mejlis, Akhtem Chiygoz, received a so-called sentence from the occupation authorities.