On 17 November, 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine hosted the Fourth Meeting of the Platform for Coordination of International Efforts to Secure the Release of Ukrainian Citizens Illegally detained by Russia for political reasons. The meeting was chaired by First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Emine Dzhaparova.
The meeting was attended by members of the Ukrainian Parliament, the Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, a representative of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, representatives of the Office of the President of Ukraine and the Ministry of Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories, leaders of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, and representatives of non-governmental human rights organisations.
Emine Dzhaparova, noted that Ukraine is using all available potential to ensure the observance of the rights of Ukrainian citizens illegally detained by the aggressor.
Such work is conducted within the platforms of all statutory and working bodies of the Council of Europe, the UN and the OSCE, during both formal sessions and intersessional periods. The issue of Ukrainian prisoners of the Kremlin holds a distinctive significance in the activities of the International Crimea Platform.
It was one of the central issues on the sidelines of its Third Summit, held on 23 August this year, and was directly reflected in the Joint Statement following its results. Special attention was also paid to this issue during the Second Parliamentary Summit, which took place in Prague on 24 October this year.
The issue of releasing Ukrainian prisoners of the Kremlin is also an important component of President Zelenskyy's Peace Formula. The active involvement of globally renowned individuals in advocacy mentoring is also being actively promoted.
In recent years, more than 180 people have been imprisoned by the Russian occupiers for political, religious, and ethnic reasons. The aggressor is constantly intensifying repressions in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.
During the meeting, the participants of the Platform outlined the challenges associated with safeguarding the rights of Ukrainian citizens Illegally detained by the aggressor, and also explored potential avenues for resolution.
All available opportunities will be used in the future to ensure unified pressure on Russia by the international community to release the Kremlin's prisoners as soon as possible.
For reference: The Platform for the Coordination of International Efforts to Secure the Release of Ukrainian Citizens Illegally Detained by Russia for Political Reasons is an informal mechanism initiated in July 2020 by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine to consolidate the efforts of national actors, including both governmental and civil society entities, engaged in the release of Ukrainian citizens illegally detained by Russia for political reasons.