Kiev / Lugansk (ICRC) – Today, 20 detainees held in connection with the conflict in Ukraine were released with the participation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and transferred back to their places of origin.
The handover took place near the town of Schastie, at the line which divides government-controlled territory and opposition-controlled territory. The operation was organized in accordance with the provisions of the Minsk agreement.
"This is an important day for the detainees and their families. We are glad that all parties to the conflict agreed to this operation," said Alain Aeschlimann, head of the ICRC's delegation in Ukraine. "In the future the ICRC is also ready and willing to help resolve other humanitarian issues linked to the conflict and falling within the framework of the Minsk agreement."
This is the first time that the ICRC has participated in the release and transfer of detainees held in relation to the conflict in Ukraine. Acting as a neutral intermediary and in accordance with its mandate, the ICRC facilitated the release and transfer in consultation with all parties.
The ICRC also seeks to regularly visit detainees in the places where they are being held in order to monitor their conditions and treatment. The organization works in a confidential manner with the detaining authorities to discuss issues that arise in connection with these visits.
For further information, please contact:
Matthias Weinreich, ICRC Kiev, tel: +380 67 509 42 06
Sanela Bajrambasic, ICRC Donetsk, tel: +38 050 315 04 60