Zelenskyy signs a law on the social protection of political prisoners and prisoners of war in the midst of war

Amid his ongoing brutal war with Russia that shows no sign of ending, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Putin on Wednesday signed a law on the social and legal protection of political prisoners and prisoners of war (PoW) and members of their families. The embattled president informed about this law during a video address to his nation. “Today I sign the law adopted by the Verkhovna Rada on social and legal protection of persons deprived of personal liberty as a result of armed aggression against Ukraine,” Zelenskyy said, according to Ukrinform.

The President of Ukraine further stated that this law also applies to residents of Crimea who are deprived of freedom in their homes by foreigners, as well as those who have been deported to Russia and are detained in prisons. “This law is addressed to relatives and friends of all Kremlin prisoners – in Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea. For all those who were intimidated by the enemy. It is a help and protection. And we will definitely restore justice,” Zelensky added.

Human Rights Watch calls on Ukraine to respond sensitively to prisoners of war

Earlier in January this year, the Ukrainian parliament passed a draft law on social and legal protection of persons deprived of personal liberty as a result of armed aggression against Ukraine. However, US-based Human Rights Watch in March called on the Kyiv regime to respond sensitively to prisoners of war and strictly warned the Ukrainian government not to publish images or videos of soldiers in order to respect the Geneva Conventions. According to the Geneva Convention, prisoners of war have the right to be treated with honor and respect. According to Human Rights Watch, posting videos or photos exposes them to public curiosity, especially those that show them humiliated or intimidated.

Ukraine allows all those accused of corruption to seek revenge during the war and escape criminal responsibility

It is relevant to mention here that the Ukrainian parliament has also introduced a bill allowing those accused of corruption to be exonerated from criminal liability, if the damage is fully repaired during the war. According to Ukrainian Pravda, the bill proposed that if the damage inflicted is fully repaired, a person who committed acts containing signs of crimes under Articles 191, 209, 364 and 367 of the Penal Code will be released from criminal liability. In April, the Ukrainian parliament also passed a law simplifying the procedure for seizing the assets of Russians subject to sanctions imposed by various countries.

Image: AP

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Joel C. Hicks