Prisoner of war status provides 'special' model for releasing Ukrainian seamen – Denisova
The status of Ukrainian sailors as prisoners of war, according to the Geneva Convention, does not allow exchanging them for criminals, Liudmyla Denisova, Verkhovna Rada's Commissioner for Human Rights, has said.
"The Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War, to which Ukraine is a signatory, has been in effect since 1955. It is clearly defined: if they are prisoners of war, there can be no exchange for criminals," she said in Kyiv on Monday.
The ombudswoman said the status of seafarers as prisoners of war does not allow their case to be considered in a regular court. They cannot be kept in pretrial confinement facilities, including the Lefortovo prison, where they are currently kept.
"This is a special status, and a special model of their release," Denisova said.
As earlier reported, on November 25, Russian border guards captured the Yani Kapu tugboat and small armored artillery boats of Ukraine's Naval Forces. The prisoners of war were transported to Moscow on November 29.
On December 3, Nikolai Polozov, a lawyer for one of the sailors, said Russia would charge the seamen with illegally crossing Russia's border.