More than 890 prisoners held in occupied Donbas seek transfer to Kyiv-controlled territory
Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Ombudswoman Liudmyla Denisova has said 895 prisoners held in prisons in Russia-occupied areas of eastern Ukraine have asked to be transferred to territories controlled by Ukrainian authorities. She said officials in Kyiv support their transfer.
"Since the end of 2014 to the present, the ombudswoman's office has received appeals from 895 citizens, of which 470 are from Donetsk region and 425 are from Luhansk region," Denisova said in Kyiv on Tuesday. She added, "Ukraine is ready to take away all prisoners."
According to her, these prisoners are used in uncontrolled territories as free labor, as well as in hostilities.
First Deputy Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament and Ukraine's envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group's (TCG) humanitarian subgroup Iryna Gerashchenko said repeated attempts to arrange the transfer in TCG talks have been unsuccessful.
"Denisova is ready even to leave tomorrow and pick up these hundreds of convicts who will move and serve their sentences under Ukrainian law in Ukrainian prisons. But we don't see the answer from Kremlin puppets (in Russia-occupied Donbas) and there are already political games in Moscow that require Denisova conduct direct negotiations with the so-called representatives of occupied Donbas," Gerashchenko said, adding that Ukraine's international partners should "take a more active position on issues, including access, to prisons in Russia-occupied areas of eastern Ukraine."