Today Lutkovska extradites 12 Crimean prisoners to mainland Ukraine

Дата: 17 March 2017
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Today, 12 people are transferred from the penitentiary institutions of Crimea to the mainland Ukraine through the checkpoint at the state border of Ukraine on the border with Russia.

As reported by the press service of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, the extradition is possible by a virtue of joint efforts of Ukrainian ombudsman Valeriya Lutkovska and Russian ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova.

Today’s transfer of convicts from the penitentiary institutions of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea is carried out by using the ad hoc mechanism, which was previously proposed by Ukrainian ombudsman.

As recalled in the press service, in 2015 Ombudsman Lutkovska received an appeal from her Russian colleague Ella Pamfilova. The statement referred to the request of 22 convicts, who are serving sentence in penitentiary institutions of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, to transfer       them to the mainland Ukraine for further serving their sentence.

At the same time, Russian side proposed to realize the extradition by applying principles of the European Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, of 21 March 1983, which defines the procedure for the transfer of persons convicted in the territory of one state to serve their sentence in the territory of another state. This option was categorically unacceptable for the Ukrainian side, because the Autonomous Republic of Crimea is temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine, and therefore the application of the norms of the said European Convention is impossible within the framework of one state.

In turn, Lutkovska proposed an alternative option to address this issue – to develop a joint mechanism for the transfer of prisoners using the so-called ad hoc practice. The development of this mechanism was supported again in 2016 by Tatyana Moskalkova, Russia’s Commissioner for Human Rights. Such procedure was realized as a result of joint meetings of ombudsmen.

Today at the meeting, Ombudsman Lutkovska thanked the Russian colleague Moskalkova for assisting in conduction of today’s transfer of convicts.

Lutkovska confirmed her willingness and interest in continuing the practice of mutual monitoring visits to places of detention in order to study the state of human rights of citizens of both countries in these institutions. So, in the near future, the ombudsmen of Ukraine and Russia plan to visit Ukrainian citizens, who are detained in Russia, as well as visit Russian citizens, who are detained in Ukraine.

As a reminder, on March 3, the transfer of 12 convicts from Crimea to Ukraine, which was announced by the Ministry of Justice, failed to happen.

As stated in the Ministry of Justice of Russia, on March 3 the transfer failed to happen due to technical reasons and “should be held after agreement with the Ukrainian authorities on a new acceptable date”.

On March 6, Ukrainian Ombudsman Valeriya Lutkovska and Russian Ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova held an informal meeting in Geneva where they discussed the fate of the convicts in Crimea and examined the implementation of the transfer procedure by the relevant state bodies of both states.

The parties agreed to share experience and open sections with information on interaction issues on official websites of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights and the Russia’s Commissioner for Human Rights.

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