A female OSCE Special Mission monitor has been sexually harassed by an armed man whilst on patrol in the separatist-controlled Donetsk People’s Republic. This is the second incident in recent weeks involving the OSCE presence in Donbas, as one of the organisation’s armed vehicles was blown up whilst travelling through the Luhansk region resulting in one fatality.
According to Alexander Hug, the Principal Deputy Chief Monitor for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation’s Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, “An armed man, armed with an assault rifle, harassed -including using sexual wording - a staff member of the SMM and also prevented the patrol from conducting its work.”
Hug also condemned the actions of the perpetrator on behalf of the OSCE, stating that, “We hope that the perpetrator will be held to account, that his name has been identified and that all measures will be applied to him to hold him to account, as we hope anyone else who violates our mandate or the Minsk agreements will be held to account”.
Despite the OSCE’s recent trouble in Ukraine, Hug reaffirmed the organisation's commitment to their mission in the region, “We will continue our work and we will continue to condemn any violence conducted against our monitors, and we will continue to demand, from both sides, that these impediments, these restriction, these intimidations will stop”.
The OSCE has been active in eastern Ukraine since 2014, when it first deployed its Special Monitoring Mission. The are currently 720 monitors in the region as part of the unarmed, civilian mission.
Hromadske's Volodymyr Solohub spoke to the Principal Deputy Chief Monitor for the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, Alexander Hug in Kyiv on 8th May 2017.