The Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Dmytro Lubinets said on Telegram that he would resign from the European Ombudsman Institute after two Ukrainian children were illegally taken from Austria to Russia.
"This step was taken as a result of the fact that two Ukrainian children, who were in the territory of the Republic of Austria because of Russian armed aggression, were taken to the territory of the Russian Federation by a "human rights activist of the European Ombudsman Institute (EOI). According to media reports, this was done by Dr Josef Siegele, Secretary General of the EOI, a member of the EOI Board and Deputy Ombudsman of Tyrol," Lubinets said.
He also noted that the Austrian authorities had launched an official investigation into Siegele's actions.
"This is a violation of Articles 49 and 50 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, which prohibit the forced relocation or deportation of persons from the occupied territory and impose on the occupying power the obligation to take all necessary measures to facilitate the procedure for identifying children and registering their family ties," the Ombudsman emphasized.
According to him, the European Ombudsman Institute did not conduct an internal investigation and did not apply appropriate sanctions to Siegele, whose act contradicts the purpose of the institution's establishment and indicates its bias. The President of the Institute, Mr Dragan Milkov, ignored Ukrainian requests.
So far, 128 children who were forcibly taken to Russia by the occupiers have been returned to Ukraine.