Friday, Feb 27, 2015Friday, Feb 27, 2015

Red Cross staff held for seven hours by east Ukraine rebels

Published on May 10, 2014 3:10 PM
Red Cross workers give first aid to policemen wounded during clashes with anti-government protester in Kiev on February 18, 2014. Several members of the Red Cross have been arrested in the rebel-held eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on suspicion of espionage, a spokesman for the insurgents said on Saturday. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

KIEV (REUTERS) – Several members of the Red Cross were held for seven hours by rebel activists in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk and released early on Saturday, one having been beaten, a Red Cross official in Kiev said.

A spokesman for the self-styled pro-Russian “Donetsk People’s Republic” said on Saturday the group had been detained on Friday evening by rebel activists on suspicion of espionage.

The Red Cross official gave no further details, though the internet newspaper Novosti Donbassa said a Frenchman had been among those held. there was no confirmation of this.

“They were released at two o’clock. One had been heavily beaten,” Red Cross official Irina Tsaryuk told Reuters.