Ukrainian Human Rights Activists Described How the SBU Kidnaps People in Order to Exchange Them for Captured UAF Soldiers

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard

14:20:09
12/06/2018

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The SBU kidnaps Ukrainian citizens in large quantities and systematically in order to use them for exchanges of prisoners with the LDPR.

This was stated during a press conference in Kiev [not just any conference, but one at the “Ukrainian Crisis Media Center” – a NGO funded by the West – ed] by the director of the Kharkov human rights group Evgeny Zakharov.

“The Security Service of Ukraine, unfortunately, stages forced disappearances, in particular, for exchanges of prisoners of war and for civil hostages who are in the custody of the DPR and LPR. They search for people involved in separatism or different crimes of a terrorist nature, treason, and so on, and begin ‘work’ with them, proposing an exchange. People as a rule have no way out, they agree, then they are held in an unknown place without any communication with the outside world before an exchange, which can last rather a long time.

This is nothing less than the classic forced disappearance. Unfortunately, the SBU feels absolutely comfortable in this, considering that this is how things must be, and there is no understanding that it is a State body that must be responsible for national security. The State actually commits acts that are qualified as crimes according to international law. Moreover, these actions have a rather mass and systematic character,” said the Ukrainian human rights activist.

“We can’t say how many of such disappearances there were, but if to recognise that in total 3,224 persons were exchanged, and lately for one of our prisoners there is a need to hand over two-three persons, then it is possible to say that, perhaps, several thousands of people have been exchanged. This is too many,” added Zakharov.

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