VIENNA/WARSAW, 25 May 2022 - OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Foreign Minister of Poland Zbigniew Rau and OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid today reiterated their condemnation of persistent allegations against the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) and called for the immediate release of four national Mission members detained in Donetsk and Luhansk.
"The continuous allegations made against the SMM's Mission members have become increasingly outrageous," said the Secretary General. "Our detained colleagues are being held unjustifiably and must be released immediately. This targeted campaign against the SMM and all intimidation or harassment of current or former OSCE staff must immediately stop".
"The SMM was always providing objective information on the security and humanitarian situation in Ukraine," said the OSCE Chairman-in-Office. "I highly appreciate the professionalism, dedication and impartiality of the SMM staff. Their protection and integrity are our priority. Acts of intimidation, harassment and hostile public rhetoric including undermining their credibility and impartiality by spreading unfounded claims are unacceptable".
The OSCE's duty of care towards all of its employees continues after the closure of the SMM. The Secretary General has repeatedly communicated to all OSCE participating States and reassured SMM staff that functional immunity pertaining to acts performed by SMM mission members in their official capacity during their employment with the SMM should continue to be respected following separation, as a principle of international law. The OSCE has and will continue to take steps to pursue all available channels to secure the privileges and immunities of current and former OSCE officials.
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