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Human rights commissioner: DPR authorities lost contact with 200 prisoners held in Ukraine

March 21, 17:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW
DPR Commissioner for Human Rights Daria Morozova says she does not rule out that "illegal methods may be applied" to them
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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, March 21. /TASS/. Contact has been lost with about 200 militia fighters of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) that are held in Ukrainian prisons, DPR Commissioner for Human Rights Daria Morozova said on Monday.

"There are about 200 people who cannot contact us. We have no communication at all," she is quoted by the Donetsk news agency.

Morozova did not rule out that "illegal methods may be applied" to them. As for the people whose location is known, the commissioner maintains contacts regarding their fate with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations. "ICRC helps to protect our people. There are many such cases are - those affected by Ukraine’s aggression write applications to me and I raise these issues at meetings of the subgroup in Minsk and send them to the UN and the Red Cross," Morozova said.

According to her, only the implementation of the Minsk agreements in part of the prisoner exchange according to the "all for all" formula can solve the prisoners’ problem.

The DPR human rights commissioner said previously that the DPR authorities had not yet received a response from Kiev regarding the exchange of prisoners according to the "25 for 50" formula proposed in Minsk on March 10.

According to the republic’s latest data, the Ukrainian side holds about 1,110 people in prisons, including 367 military, 576 political prisoners, 167 civilians who have nothing to do with the conflict. In addition, 410 people are missing.

At the meeting of the Contact Group for the Ukrainian crisis settlement on January 13, the sides supported the initiative of Russia’s envoy Boris Gryzlov on ensuring complete ceasefire on the territory of Donbass. This is the seventh attempt to fully observe the ceasefire regime in Ukraine’s south-east. At the recent meeting of the Contact Group in Minsk the participants expressed regret over continuing violations of ceasefire regime in Donbass.

Ceasefire is envisaged by the Minsk accords signed on 12 February 2015, after negotiations in the so-called "Normandy format" in the Belarusian capital Minsk, bringing together Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko. The package of measures also envisages weaponry withdrawal, prisoner exchange, local election in Donbass, constitutional reform in Ukraine and establishing working sub-groups on security, political, economy and humanitarian components of the Minsk accords.

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