Body of British aid worker Paul Urey who died in Russian captivity will be flown home today

Since Paul Urey's death his family have been trying to raise £10,000 to bring his body home for burial, a total they have now reached. Credit: Family picture

The family of an aid worker who reportedly died while being detained by pro-Russia separatists say his body will be flown home today

Paul Urey, 45, from Warrington, died in captivity in Ukraine on Sunday 11 July, according to the human rights ombudsperson for the Moscow-supported leadership in Donetsk.

Ombudsperson Daria Morozova, branded Mr Urey a “mercenary” and claimed he passed away after suffering chronic illnesses and stress.

Mr Urey's family say he went out to the war-torn country to carry out aid work and help with the humanitarian effort, and when he was taken, he was trying to evacuate a mother and her two children out of the country.

Since his death they have been trying to raise £10,000 on GoFundMe to bring his body home for burial, a total they have now reached.

The human rights ombudsperson for the Moscow-supported leadership in Donetsk previously said Mr Urey died of chronic illnesses and stress. Credit: Family picture

One of Mr Urey's daughters, Chelsea Coman, 20, says the repatriation of her father’s body will help give her family closure.

The aid worker had Type 1 diabetes as well as a heart condition but was denied access to medication around eight weeks before his death, his family claim.

“He doesn’t deserve to be out there at the minute,” Chelsea said.

“It would set our mind at ease to be able to lay him to rest and know that he’s not in a different country still suffering even though he’s died.

“We would get closure.”

The family have thanked people who have contributed to their fund for repatriating Mr Urey's body.

Chelsea added "It’s very overwhelming because a lot of strangers across the world have taken the time to write these messages and send money over to help us, and they don’t even know us.

“Without the GoFundMe and all these strangers giving us the money to help us bring dad home… I don’t think we would have possibly been able to do it.

“We’ve never seen that kind of money in our lives."

Paul Urey with his daughter Chelsea.

It was initially claimed Mr Urey had died of chronic illness and stress, but after the dad of four's body was returned to the Ukrainian government, Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said it showed "signs of possible unspeakable torture".

He wrote on Twitter: “Russians have returned the body of a British humanitarian worker Paul Urie [sic] whom they captured in April and reported dead due to “illnesses” and “stress” in July. With signs of possible unspeakable torture.

“Detaining and torturing civilians is barbarism and a heinous war crime.

“I express my deepest condolences to relatives and close ones of Paul Urie [sic]. He was a brave man who dedicated himself to saving people. Ukraine will never forget him and his deeds.

“We will identify perpetrators of this crime and hold them to account. They won’t escape justice.”

An FCDO spokesperson said: "We have supported Paul’s family throughout this ordeal and will continue to work with the Ukrainian authorities to get him home.

"Our thoughts remain with the Urey family at this difficult time.

"The FCDO is unfortunately not able to pay for the repatriation of British nationals who have died overseas."

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