There are today 18 agreements on cooperation between the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation and human rights institutions of other states. Such treaties enable ombudspersons to efficiently provide assistance to citizens of their countries in a difficult situation abroad.
Thus, our joint work with Turkish Ombudsman Seref Malcoc under the Memorandum of Cooperation, signed in March 2017, will allow the Russian sailors from the cargo ship of the Turkish company "Streamline" to return home.
I received a collective appeal from the citizens of the Russian Federation, the vessel’s crew members of the Turkish company "Streamline", who had fallen into a difficult life situation.
According to the sailors, the Turkish authorities arrested the cargo ship in the port of Istanbul because of the shipowner’s debts. In that situation, Russian citizens were left without wages, they had problems with the provision of food and personal hygiene. The vessel’s owner offered to the crew members letters of guarantee for payment instead of money. However, the Russian sailors refused to leave the vessel without fulfilling the conditions of their contracts, including the full repayment of the debt.
Considering the circumstances, I requested for assistance from Chief Ombudsman of the Republic of Turkey Seref Malcoc.
The Turkish Ombudsman promptly responded to my request and held discussions with the Istanbul government and the city’s port authorities. As a result of the negotiations, Seref Malcoc informed me about the positive resolution of the issue. The requirements of the Russian crew were satisfied, and the Russian sailors as a whole left the port of Istanbul.