Germany deplores "public parading" of observers held in Ukraine

by Reuters
Sunday, 27 April 2014 17:58 GMT

April 27 (Reuters) - Germany denounced as "revolting" on Sunday the parading of European observers held captive by pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine, and said Moscow had a duty to press its separatist allies to free the prisoners.

Pro-Moscow rebels have been holding eight European monitors for three days. On Sunday they freed one, a Swede, but said they had no plans to free the others. The captives were shown to journalists in Slaviansk, a town in Eastern Ukraine that separatists have turned into a heavily fortified redoubt.

"The public parading of the OSCE observers and Ukrainian security forces as prisoners is revolting and blatantly hurts the dignity of the victims," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement.

"It is an infringement of every rule of behaviour and standards that are made for tense situations like this. Russia has a duty to influence the separatists so that the detained members of the OSCE mission are freed as soon as possible." (Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Writing by Peter Graff; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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