A British aid worker who died in custody after being captured by pro-Russian forces in Ukraine appeared to have suffered “unspeakable torture”, according to the Ukrainian government.
45 year old aid worker, Paul Ureywas arrested in April along with another British, Dylan Healy, by Russian forces at a checkpoint near Zaporizhzhia in southeastern Ukraine while evacuating civilians there.
Mr. Urey died in July, according to a pro-Russian separatist group and a humanitarian organization linked to him while he was in custody. Russian officials had previously stated that Mr Urey died in the detention center of “illness” and “stress”.
“Arresting and torturing civilians is an act of barbarism and a heinous war crime,” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said in a Twitter post on Wednesday, adding that Mr. showed signs of torture after being handed over by Russian officials.
A spokesman for the British Foreign Office said: “We are disturbed by reports that aid worker Paul Urey may have been tortured in prison. told Sky News on Thursday. “It is essential that we see the full autopsy results as soon as possible.”
Mr Urey is said to have been charged in April with “mercenary activities” in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, a Moscow-backed breakaway region in occupied eastern Ukraine.
“From our side, he received the necessary medical assistance,” the Kremlin’s human rights inspector, Daria Morozova, said in a statement. Telegram Posts after his death in July. She attributed his death to health problems including diabetes, respiratory damage and possibly depression.
The British Foreign Office summoned the Russian ambassador in July to respond to Mr Urey’s death. Liz Truss, who was then UK Foreign Secretary and took office as Prime Minister this week, said in July that she was “shocked” to learn of his death “while being detained by a Russian proxies in Ukraine”. detention.”
Mr. Urey’s mother, Linda Urey, wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday that she was trying to bring his body back to the UK from Ukraine. “I just hope he can go home now,” she said.
She has asked people to contribute to the GoFundMe campaign organized by his 20-year-old daughter, Chelsea Coman, to repatriate his body. His family hopes to bury him in his hometown “with those who love him and celebrate his life”, his daughter wrote on the raiser fund’s website.