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Ukraine gives Russia 48 hours to return abducted orphans

Pavlo Petrenko, Ukraine’s Minister of Justice

Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice, together with human rights representatives, is appealing to the European Court of Human Rights regarding the illegal abduction and transfer to the Russian Federation of orphaned children. Additionally, Ukraine has given Russia 48 hours to return the abducted children, said the Minister of Justice Pavlo Petrenko during a Cabinet briefing, as reported on the Ministry’s website, June 13.

“Yesterday there was an incident involving the kidnapping of orphaned children by terrorists in the city of Snizhne. According to current information, they are in the (Russian) city of Donetsk in the Rostov Oblast of the Russian Federation. The Ministry of Justice, together with human rights representatives, has prepared  and submitted a request to the European Court of Human Rights in the manner prescribed by Rule 39 of the Convention “On Protection of Human Rights” —  namely, to take immediate action in cases where there is a threat to human life, rights, and freedom, Petrenko said.

According to Petrenko, actions by the Russian side have violated a number of interstate and international agreements.

“We have made a declaration to the Russian Federation stating that the Russian side, in addition to violating the Convention on Human Rights, has violated a number of international agreements regarding a state’s obligation not to implement measures for the forcible removal of persons and not to cooperate with terrorists. This regards particularly the UN Convention on the protection of children and the declaration by the UN General Assembly on combating the forced removal of people,” he said.

Petrenko said that in this declaration Ukraine is issuing a clear signal to competent authorities in the Russian Federation to return the abducted children through diplomatic channels.

“If Russian officials do not want to go down in history together with Asian and African dictators, who, in addition to war crimes, have been involved in the abduction of civilians and children, they have 48 hours to deliver the orphaned children to Ukraine’s Consul General, who is presently in the Rostov Oblast. We expect a reaction from appropriate authorities of the Russian Federation by the end of day, Petrenko concluded.

Translation: Anna Mostovych



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