Denisova asks EU ambassadors to urge Putin to free Ukrainian political prisoners

Denisova asks EU ambassadors to urge Putin to free Ukrainian political prisoners

Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Commissioner Liudmyla Denisova has urged EU ambassadors to appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin with the request to release Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russia and in temporarily occupied Crimea.

The ombudsman said this on the Freedom of Speech talk show on ICTV on July 2, according to an Ukrinform correspondent.

"Ahead of the Ukraine-EU summit I really addressed the ambassadors today and urged them to appeal to Russian President Putin so that he carries out a humanitarian mission and frees our political prisoners who are held in the Russian Federation and in temporarily occupied Crimea," Denisova said, while commenting on the July 2 meeting in parliament with the ambassadors of the EU countries.

She said that any pressure on Putin "will be very good and bring the opportunity for our political prisoners to be at home."

Denisova noted that during the meeting with the EU ambassadors she informed them that, despite the agreements reached between Ukrainian and Russian Presidents Petro Poroshenko and Vladimir Putin, the Russian side disrupted these agreements. The Ukrainian ombudsman was not allowed to visit Roman Sushchenko, Mykola Karpiuk, or Oleg Sentsov.

"We propose implementing these agreements and all guarantees that President Putin gave me so that I could visit [Ukrainian political prisoners]. I have already proposed a roadmap to satisfy both sides - the Russian ombudsman and me - to make visits. However, I emphasize that this is possible only on terms of mirroring, synchronism and reciprocity," Denisova said.

Denisova arrived in Russia on June 15, but she was not allowed to meet with any of the Ukrainian political prisoners.

About 70 Ukrainian political prisoners, including Ukrinform journalist Roman Sushchenko, who was illegally sentenced to 12 years in prison in a high-security penal colony for alleged espionage, are held in Russia and occupied Crimea.


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