On 5 December Ukraine initiated an information event at ministerial level “Ukrainians – political prisoners: Way to freedom” on the margins of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Bratislava (Slovak Republic). Oleh Sentsov and Roman Sushchenko, former prisoners, were key speakers at the event.
In his opening remarks, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Vadym Prystaiko expressed gratitude to his foreign colleagues, who attended the meeting, for the efforts taken by their states to help the illegally detained Ukrainians to return in September 2019.
In their turn, Oleh Sentsov and Roman Sushchenko shared their personal stories: from illegal arrest and fabricated charges to their release from Russian prisons. They also drew attention to massive and grave human rights violations by Russia. Mr.Sentsov and Mr.Sushchenko reiterated that almost a hundred of Ukrainian citizens remain behind bars for political reasons in Russia and in temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea and the City of Sevastopol, and called upon the foreign ministers of the OSCE participating states to further efforts aimed at their release.