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Human Rights Commissioner sents a request to Russia regarding the kidnapped Dmytro Khyliuk, receives no response

05.05.2023, 10:56
Photo: Dmytro Khyliuk on Facebook
Photo: Dmytro Khyliuk on Facebook

Dmytro Lubinets, the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights, said that he had written to Tetyana Moskalkova, the Russian Commissioner for Human Rights, to learn more details regarding UNIAN journalist Dmytro Khyliuk, who was kidnapped by Russia, but has received no response yet.

Lubinets spoke about this in his comment to UNIAN.

According to him, about a week ago, a new channel for Ukrainian authorities to receive data on Ukrainian civilians captured by Russia emerged.

"It allows us to physically confirm the state of our citizens, civilians first and foremost. We get videos of them arriving, handing out some aid from us, and taking videos, asking the people to state their names and tell us about the conditions they're in. They send the videos to us, and we notify the relatives," Lubinets said.

According to him, Khyliuk has not yet been spotted on these videos, and the latest update from him was the journalist's letter from April 2022.

As IMI reported, UNIAN journalist Dmytro Khyliuk has been in Russian captivity for over a year. His official status is not that of a POW, but of a civilian hostage. Such prisoners should be released separate from military prisoner swaps, but the Russians are not doing this.

Russian soldiers kidnapped Dmytro Khyliuk on February 26, 2022, in the garden of his own house in Kozarovychi. He was first kept in the occupied Dymer, and then taken to a prison in Russia.

Kozarovychi was de-occupied on March 31. Ukrainian investigators soon arrived in the village and took the testimony from Dmytro's father, Vasyl Khylyuk, about his son being captured and kidnapped. In May, state prosecutor Oleksandr Vinnytsky visited Kozarovychi and interviewed the journalist's father once more. The Prosecutor General's Office has opened a case regarding the abduction of civilians on the territory of the Dymer hromada. The investigation considers journalist Dmytro Khylyuk and his father victims. The case was opened under Part 1 of Art. 438 of the Criminal Code. This article, in particular, deals with violation of the laws and customs of war, such as abuse of POWs or the civilian population, deportation of civilians for forced labor, looting of national assets in the occupied territory, using means of warfare prohibited by international law, as well as other violations of laws and customs of war stipulated by international treaties.

In April 2022, the journalist's parents received a call from the Coordination Headquarters for the Treatment of Prisoners of War and were informed that Russia had confirmed that the journalist was being detained there.

In August, with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Dmytro Khylyuk's parents were able to receive a letter from him, in an envelope stamped "Russian Post Service". The letter contained one sentence: "Dear mom, dad, I'm alive, in good health, I'm fine."

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