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Lubinets says he is personally monitoring the issue of Dmytro Khyliuk's release from captivity

18.05.2023, 15:39

Dmytro Lubinets, the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights, said that he is personally monitoring the issue UNIAN journalist Dmytro Khyliuk's release from Russian captivity. Lubinets said this in his comment for Ukrinform.

"I personally keep it under control (the issue of the journalist's release. – Ed.)," he said.

The Commissioner said that since receiving the address (regarding the captured journalist, published by UNIAN on May 4. – Ed.), he has been working with the Russian side to resolve this issue.

When asked if there was any response from Russia, Lubinets said that this was all he could say now.

"We want a result, so we cannot disclose any details that could be detrimental to the process of getting (the journalist. – Ed.) back," the Commissioner said.

As IMI reported, on May 17, the 1+1 media group addressed the international media and human rights communities with a request to facilitate the release of the captive UNIAN reporter Dmytro Khyliuk and all the civilians that Russia has been unlawfully holding hostage since the start of the full-scale war in Ukraine.

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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