According to a number of media outlets, including “Las Provincias” and “Levante-EMV”, the Russian occupiers acknowledged the detention of a Spanish citizen Mariano Garcia Catalayud, who was kidnapped on March 19, 2022 in Kherson and was involved in the distribution of humanitarian aid to the population, in an illegal “pre-trial detention center” of the occupied peninsula.

In January, we wrote that Calatayud’s common-law spouse Tatyana reported that there was an unsuccessful attempt to protect the rights of Mariano by the Spanish Foreign Ministry by sending a request to Moscow about his fate as a captured person, but the aggressor’s Foreign Ministry began to criminally deny the participation of the occupiers in the kidnapping of the Spanish volunteer.

According to Spanish media, the Spanish Embassy in Ukraine prioritizes his release, having received “documents” from his representatives, military from the illegal “military prosecutor’s office of the Black Sea Fleet” confirming that Katalayud is in custody, namely in occupied Sevastopol.

The occupiers criminally stated that Catalayud was allegedly arrested “for participation in the commission of actions aimed at causing damage to the security” of the aggressor, and that this person is still being held in custody, and precisely as a hostage, since, according to the criminal “prosecutor’s office”, “verification actions against him have not been completed.

Garcia’s cellmate, Yevgen Yamkovyi, told the media that the 75-year-old man was tortured: he had bruises from blows to his legs, lost some of his teeth, and was mistreated by prison “guards”. His body is “covered with bruises and scars”, Yamkovyi is quoted by “Levante-EMV”.

It is obvious that the aggressor intends to use Catalayud, who worked until 2014 in the municipal authorities of the Valencian city of Carlet, for the criminal blackmail of the Spanish authorities.

At the same time, the kidnapping of a volunteer who was engaged in humanitarian assistance to the civilian population is an obvious gross violation of the Geneva Conventions and constitutes a clear occupiers’ war crime.

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