Over 160 illegal prisons confining more than 3,500 Ukrainians in Russia-occupied Donbas

Canan Sarıtepe
09 July 2021, 12:04
Canan Sarıtepe
09 July 2021, 12:04

Russian occupation authorities rule over 160 illegal prisons located in occupied Donetsk and Luhansk, in which more than 3,500 Ukrainian citizens are confined, according to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine.

This was discussed during the online side event Izolyatsia (Isolation) held on Friday as part of the 47th session of the Human Rights Council, organised by the Permanent Mission of Ukraine to the United Nations with the participation of UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer.

"The event is part of campaign ‘Izolyatsia: Must Speak’ launched in December last year by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in cooperation with the Ukrainian Institute, the International Foundation Izolyatsia, and a former political prisoner, journalist Stanislav Aseyev who had been held in the Izolyatsia illegal prison in occupied Donetsk for 28 months,” First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Emine Dzheppar wrote in a statement.

She noted that the aim of this campaign was to raise public awareness of the horrors currently taking place in the occupied territories of Ukraine, as well as to mobilise the international community to protect people from the impunity of the Russian occupiers and bring to justice those responsible for torture to restore respect for human rights human dignity in the occupied territories.

As reported, for the eighth year in a row, Russia has been committing crimes against Ukrainian citizens on a daily basis by resorting to torture and psychological pressure on illegally detained people both in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and in the territory of the Russian Federation.

Expressing that the Izolyatsia illegal prison in the occupied city of Donetsk is a prime example of these horrors and identifies the true face of the Russian occupier, Dzhepar said: "We can find out what happened in Izolyatsia from witnesses who went through the horror of being held in this illegal institution."

A week ago, the First Deputy Foreign Minister said, the English translation of the book "The Torture Camp on Paradise Street" written by Stanislav Aseyev, was presented with the support of the Embassy of Canada in Ukraine.

“We must join forces to close all secret prisons in the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions established by the Russian Federation. To demand that the Russian occupier provides unimpeded access for regional and international human rights organisations to all places of detention and to ensures full confidential communication with all detainees in the temporarily occupied territories,” Emine Dzheppar stressed.

She reminded that the Russian occupation authorities had denied the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture full and unimpeded access to detention facilities in Donbas during his visit to Ukraine in 2018. The official emphasised that Ukraine would take all necessary measures to bring to justice all those guilty of these gross human rights violations, especially war crimes.