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“Supreme Court of Crimea” reduces sentence of political prisoner Balukh by one month

Crimean political prisoner refused to take part in the appeal via video call
20:50, 3 October 2018

Radio Liberty

On Wednesday, October 3, “Supreme Court of Crimea” reduced the sentence of Ukrainian political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh by one month, Interfax reports.

‘Final sentence: 4 years and 11 months,’ judge Olena Spasionova stated.

Related: Poroshenko urges UN make more efforts to release Sentsov, Balukh

The fine remained unchanged.

It is noted that they didn’t bring Balukh from the detention facility to the “Supreme Court of Crimea.” Also, he refused to take part in the appeal via video conference call.

‘Balukh refused to leave the cell,’ the court clerk claimed.

Related: Ukraine's ombudswoman asks Red Cross doctors to visit Balukh urgently

Balukh was arrested on December 8, 2016, nine days after he nailed a plaque renaming his home No. 18 “Heroes of Nebesna Sotnya St’ in memory of the over 100 Maidan activists who were killed during Euromaidan.  He had rejected demands from the head of the local council to remove it. During an irregular ‘search’ of his home,  90 bullets and several TNT explosive devices were allegedly ‘found’ in his attic.  Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KhPG) stated that he had no record of violence and the constant searches and series of administrative prosecutions he had faced since Russia’s invasion of Crimea for his openly pro-Ukrainian position made it inconceivable that he could have held anything illegal in his home.  The implausibility of the charges was just one of several compelling reasons why the renowned Memorial Human Rights Centre declared him a political prisoner well before the trial.

Earlier the court of Simferopol extended the detention period for Ali Asanov and Mustafa Degermenji. Thus, the detained Crimean Tatars will stay behind the bars until January 7, 2017. 

Related: Ukraine's ombudswoman asks Russian colleague to allow her visit Balukh

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