9 Jul 2018 21:33

Kyiv asks ICRC to pay attention to incarceration conditions, health of Ukrainian convicts in Russia

KYIV. July 9 (Interfax) - Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada Deputy Speaker Iryna Herashchenko has requested Dominik Stillhart, the director of operations at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), to monitor the incarceration conditions and health of Ukrainian convicts in Russia and Donbas.

"I met with ICRC Director of Operations Dominik Stillhart. The key subjects of the meeting [were] the ICRC's access to jails in the occupied territories, Ukrainians in Russian prisons, to search for missing persons, intensification of efforts in humanitarian demining," she said on her Facebook account on Monday.

In particular, the parties discussed assistance in healthcare, improvement of living conditions and restoration of infrastructure in Donbas, including critical infrastructure facilities, food aid to affected persons, raising awareness of mine security threat, and support to missing person's relatives, Herashchenko said.

"We also discussed the restoration of the bridge in Stanytsia Luhanska, this project is being implemented with the ICRC's support. We would like the bridge to be finally restored before the beginning of winter," Herashchenko said.

Special emphasis was placed on persons held in Donbas and convicts in Russia, who "are being held in complete isolation, without access of independent medics and representatives of international humanitarian missions," she said.

According to Herashchenko, she reminded Stillhart that despite agreements between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents, Ukrainian ombudsman Liudmyla Denisova still has not been permitted to visit Ukrainians convicted in Russia. "I requested the ICRC to exercise effort and firmness and monitor incarceration conditions and health of Sentsov, Kolchenko, Balukh, Klykh, Shumkov, and others, both in Russia and Donbas," she said.

Herashchenko mentioned that Ukrainian citizen Volodymyr Balukh has continued his indefinite hunger strike for 113 days and Oleh Sentsov for 57 days and that Stanyslav Aseyev and Stanyslav Klykh are also on a hunger strike. "We don't know anything about their actual condition," she said.