At the today’s press conference, the issue of illegal detention of civilians by the power structures of Ukraine was discussed.
Summary of the speech by DPR Ombudsman Daria Morozova: “Legal framework of Ukraine: no legal grounds for detention of DPR supporters”.
- Conflict in Donbass has been going on for more than 4 years. During this time, 29 exchanges have been conducted, and 790 persons have been released.
- The facts of crimes against humanity committed by the Ukrainian side are quarterly documented in the reports of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and in the reports of other international human rights organizations.
- All data, evidencing breaches of the international humanitarian law by Ukraine, have been collected and are pending before the European Courts.
- As experience has shown, the majority of former detainees were accused of committing crimes set forth in Articles 258, 110, 111, and 263 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
Article 110 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine provides for punishment for infringement upon the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine, which is punishable by imprisonment for terms of between three and five years with or without confiscation of property.
Article 111 provides punishment for treason, i.e. act intentionally committed by a citizen of Ukraine to the detriment of Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability, defence capability, state, economic or information security of Ukraine.
The majority of persons who used to be or who are held in Ukrainian captivity are accused of crimes set forth in Article 258 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Part 3 of Article 258 provides punishment for the creation of a terrorist group or terrorist organization and is punishable by imprisonment for a term of eight to fifteen years with or without confiscation of property. Part 5 of Article 258 criminalizes terrorist financing. Terrorist financing, i.e. acts committed with the aim of financial or material support for an individual terrorist or terrorist group (organization), as well as organizing, preparing or committing a terrorist act, involvement in committing a terrorist act, public calls for the commission of a terrorist act, facilitating the commission of a terrorist act, terrorist group (organization) – shall be punishable by deprivation of liberty for a term of five to eight years, with deprivation of the right to occupy certain positions or engage in certain activities for up to two years with the confiscation of property.
- In Ukraine there are no legislation or court decisions, as well as international ones, that would recognize the status of Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics as terroristic organizations.
Summary of the speech by Sergey Babych, a former serviceman:
- On March 24, 2015, I headed from Donetsk to Krasnoarmeisk in “Pokrovskaya” Coalmine Administration to deal with some labour issues. In Kurakhovo I was kidnapped by armed SSU (Security Service of Ukraine) officers.
- They pressured me to confess of what I didn’t even know how to say. Then I was accused of “being involved in activities of terroristic organization Donetsk People’s Republic”.
- The investigation lasted for half of a year. I was transferred from Mariupol to Artyomovsk. There, I found out that the DPR has not been recognized as a terroristic organization. I became interested in this issue and I started to make requests and appeals to many authorities and received some response.
- A response from Mr. Pashinskiy, who is the Head of Verkhovna Rada State Security Committee, said that currently there is no legislation (laws or other normative acts) that would recognize the organizations as terroristic. Also, the procedure of investigation and court hearings have not been established for cases regarding terrorism.
- Ukrainian media often call LPR and DPR “armed groups”. Based on this fact, I made requests asking whether the Donetsk People’s Republic is recognized as an illegal criminal group. All the responses said that the specification has never been recognized.
- The Court of Appeal, which I had approached as well, explained to me that the Donetsk region prosecutor had to appeal to the Court of Appeal so that the LPR and the DPR could be recognized as “terrorist organizations”. But, according to the response that I received, the prosecutor did not apply to Court with this statement and did not present any evidence.
- In 2017, Mr. Pashinsky replied to me that they have no evidence that some terrorist organizations operate on the territory of Ukraine.
- The Ukrainian authorities illegally accuse people of involvement in terrorist activities. They have no legislation applicable for claims that terrorism is flourishing in the Republics.
- In Mariupol, I was in the same cell with criminals. My ex officio lawyer was not interested in protecting my rights.
- The mobilization of people in Ukraine was illegal. Special units of the Security Service and the police only can conduct ATO.