OSCE mission members arrested in Ukraine’s Donbas region
Vienna, Apr 24 (EFE).- Several staff members of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have been detained in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, the Vienna-based body confirmed on Sunday.
“The OSCE is extremely concerned that a number of SMM national mission members have been deprived of their liberty in Donetsk and Luhansk. The OSCE is using all available channels to facilitate the release of its staff,” the OSCE wrote on Twitter.
Deirdre Brown, the deputy head of the British delegation to the OSCE, said Friday that there were reports of Russian troops arresting members of the team.
“We have received alarming reports that Russia’s proxies in Donbas are threatening Mission staff, equipment and premises and that Russian forces have taken SMM staff members captive,” she said during an OSCE meeting in Vienna.
“We condemn these threats to this Mission and its dedicated personnel in the strongest possible terms. We call for the release of SMM staff members, as well as all Ukrainians detained by Russia,” Brown added.
An OSCE civilian observer mission was deployed in Ukraine in 2014, following a request from the Ukrainian government to the security organization made up of 57 states from Europe, Central Asia and North America.EFE