Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention: Canadian initiative to help release of political prisoners

Canan Sarıtepe
16 February 2021, 11:25
Canan Sarıtepe
16 February 2021, 11:25

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba took part in a ministerial conference on February 15, to launch the "Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations," initiated by Canada.

Canada, the United States and a coalition of 56 other countries have endorsed a non-binding declaration denouncing the state-sponsored arbitrary detention of foreign nationals for political purposes.

Kuleba drew attention to an acute problem of arbitrary arrests in Crimea and parts of Donbas, temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation, press service of MFA Ukraine reports.

"We consider this Declaration an important additional tool to make the Russian Federation fulfil its obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law, free all Ukrainian citizens arbitrarily arrested and illegally imprisoned by Russia, protect victims and prevent further human rights violations," Ukrainian Foreign Minister said.

He noted that, currently, about 100 Ukrainians are detained and imprisoned in Russia and in Crimea on politically motivated charges. 

"Politically motivated persecution of the citizens of Ukraine on fabricated charges has become a routine practice of the occupying power."

The Minister drew attention to Ukraine’s initiative of the "Crimean Platform" aiming to consolidate international efforts to de-occupy Crimea and invited the audience to participate in its inaugural Summit this year.

"International solidarity played a significant role in our effort to achieve the release of dozens of political prisoners from Russian captivity. We should remain united and speak vocally," he said.

According to the diplomat, consolidated action and joint pressure remain key factors in the further release of Ukrainian political prisoners.