Kyiv: 18 people on Ukrainian prisoner-exchange list refuse to return to separatist republics

18 people included in the lists for the exchange of prisoners are categorically against being transferred to a territory beyond Ukraine's control, as stated by the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, Valeriya Lutkovska, UNIAN reports.

Lutkovska said that the exchange of prisoners within the framework of the Minsk process is now at the stage of clarifying the lists. She noted that 18 people who were included in the exchange lists "categorically refuse to be transferred to the territory which is not under control of the Ukrainian government."

She also added that the so-called LPR (Luhansk People’s Republic) and DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic) included people in the lists who were in no way involved in the events in the east of Ukraine. "For example, there is a person who committed a crime in the Kyiv region. Why should he be as a part of this exchange?"

Lutkovska maintained that representatives of the so-called DPR agreed with her position, and that the LPR separatists are still working and are not ready to confirm the lists.

“Now, the exact number of Ukrainian prisoners held by the separatists is unknown, since we can only talk about the list of prisoners confirmed by them. There are 70 such people now… They promise to confirm a couple more but we are requesting much more: 137 people who, according to our information, are in uncontrolled territory."

Lutkovska also added that the formation of the exchange lists is significantly hampered by the fact that Ukraine does not have access to the uncontrolled territories to find out exactly how many captured Ukrainians are there. In this issue she hopes for the help of the coordinator of the humanitarian subgroup in the Tripartite Contact Group, Toni Frisch.

"We are ready to open remand centers isolators for him [Frisch], but on parity conditions: confidential communication with prisoners. However, if he is accompanied by people with machine guns in Donetsk or Makiivka, what parity can we speak of?" the ombudsman asked.

  Donbas, Ukraine, Prisoners, LPR, DPR