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Ukraine's Security Service Kidnapped Its Own Citizens: Amnesty International
5 September, 2016

What You Need To Know:

✅ Amnesty International recently released a report detailing illegal imprisonment and torture happening on Ukrainian territory by its own secret service;
✅ “Ukrainian authorities are responding to our allegations and our statement exactly the same way the pro-Russian separatists or Russia responds to our criticism;”
✅ Yankov is aware of similar abuses on the so-called DNR territory by de-facto authorities and says that dozens of people have been detained with little allegations against them;
✅ Ukrainian prisoners such as Dr. Kozlovsky and Volodymyr Fomichev have become “exchange currency in this game of prisoner exchange. The only goal of these charges is to raise their price and to be able to exchange them for people held by the Ukrainians.”

Amnesty International recently released a report detailing illegal imprisonment and torture happening on Ukrainian territory by its own secret service. While both Amnesty and Human Rights Watch acknowledge that this problem is occurring on both sides of the conflict, the organizations have received criticisms that their report is only putting blame on the Ukrainian side. 

“We’re not aiming at producing a comprehensive picture of everything that is going on,” says Krasimir Yankov, Amnesty International Researcher. “This is only a snapshot of what we have discovered,” he adds, noting that Amnesty does not have the resources to fully conduct an investigation of the pro-Russian side.

“Ukrainian authorities are responding to our allegations and our statement exactly the same way the pro-Russian separatists or Russia responds to our criticism,” explains Yankov. The report calls for an official investigation into the matter, to which Yankov says Amnesty has yet to hear from Ukrainian authorities.

Yankov is aware of similar abuses on the so-called DNR territory by de-facto authorities and says that dozens of people have been detained with little allegations against them. Ukrainian prisoners such as Dr. Kozlovsky and Volodymyr Fomichev have become “exchange currency in this game of prisoner exchange. The only goal of these charges is to raise their price and to be able to exchange them for people held by the Ukrainians,” explains Yankov.

Amnesty also continues to monitor and raise the profile of numerous cases of illegally detained prisoners in Crimea including Ilmi Umerov, deputy head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people who is being held in a psychiatric treatment ward for voicing his opinion that Crimea is not a part of Russia.

Hromadske’s Nataliya Gumenyuk and Andriy Kulykov spoke to Krasimir Yankov, Amnesty International Researcher via Skype during live broadcast of The Sunday Show on September 4th, 2016 in Kyiv.