ICC could open case against Russia over civilian hostages - ombudsman

ICC could open case against Russia over civilian hostages - ombudsman

Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Commissioner Dmytro Lubinets believes it would be appropriate if the International Criminal Court brought charged the Russian authorities regarding the civilian hostages the aggressors are holding.

The ombudsperson addressed the issue on Facebook, Ukrinform reports.

"We would consider it expedient for the International Criminal Court to probe the Russian side over civilian hostages, just like this happened regarding the deportation of Ukrainian children. After all, there’s plenty of evidence and grounds for the relevant cases to be launched," Lubinets wrote.

Ukraine's position regarding the civilian hostages illegally held by the Russian Federation is “clear and simple: our state is ready to take concrete steps and is working to get our people back.”

Read also: Russians want to deport about 300 children from Ukraine to Chuvashia - National Resistance Center

"However, the biggest difference between Ukraine and Russia is that for Ukraine, civilians are civilian hostages, and according to the Russians, civilians are at least accused or convicted. That is, they are criminals for Russia. Unfortunately, the occupiers are doing this on purpose, opening fictitious and fabricated cases against Ukrainians," the ombudsman noted.

The Commissioner stated that the Russians are also taking advantage of the fact that there are Russian nationals who have been convicted and are serving a sentence in Ukraine for real crimes, such as espionage and spotting missile strikes at civilian objects.

"But we are different from the Russians: we do not violate people's rights! In Ukraine, only those who have actually committed crimes get convicted. And their rights are not violated in Ukraine - convicts are not tortured or abused in prisons, they have access to everything they need and even (!) the ability to call their families," assured Lubinets.

According to the ombudsman, the Russian Federation illegally detains Ukrainians in the temporarily occupied territories and on Russian territory. He also reminded that Article 3 of the 4th Geneva Convention prohibits warring parties from taking civilian hostages.

Read also: Killings, abductions, torture: Russia’s crimes against Ukrainian children

"It’s true that Ukraine needs to follow the path of a democratic state, record Russian crimes against our people, protect their rights, and demand justice, that's for sure! Our efforts are to unite and do everything possible, every day, to bring Ukrainians home and contribute to victory," he is convinced.

As reported, Lubinets said more than 25,000 civilian hostages from Ukraine are believed to be held by Russia.

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