Ukraine calls on UN to exert pressure on Moscow to free political prisoners

Ukraine calls on UN to exert pressure on Moscow to free political prisoners

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Ukrinform
Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the UN Yuriy Klymenko has called on the UN member states and international organizations to increase pressure on Russia to stop gross and systematic violations of human rights and release all Ukrainian citizens illegally held by Russia.

He stated this during a debate on the agenda of the 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the press service of the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva reported.

"We urge the UN member states and international organizations to take further steps to increase pressure on the Russian Federation in order to stop flagrant and systematic human rights violations and release all Ukrainian citizens illegally held by Russia," Klymenko said.

In this context, he once again drew attention to the shameful practice of Russia's using political persecution against Ukrainian and Crimean Tatars activists as a tool to deter and eliminate any opposition to illegal occupation and attempted annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

Klymenko said that the Kremlin had illegally detained over 70 Ukrainian citizens under trumped-up, politically motivated criminal charges and that the Ukrainian Ombudsperson had not been granted access to any of the Ukrainian political prisoners despite numerous appeals by the Ukrainian side and assurances by Russia, even at the highest level.

"The health condition of Oleg Sentsov, who went on an indefinite hunger strike on 14 May - 128 days ago by now - remains critical and deteriorates daily. Volodymyr Balukh continues an indefinite hunger strike for over 180 days; he is essentially between life and death. Moreover, a few days ago he was severely beaten in prison. Russia is trying to suppress the Crimean Tatars' community on the territory of the occupied Crimea through daily searches, intimidations, and limitations on the freedom of assembly and religion, etc. Such actions of the Russian occupation administration must not be tolerated any longer," Klymenko said.

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