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Ukrainian political prisoner Balukh forcefully transferred to Simferopol

Supposedly, he was taken to Simferopol prison
11:08, 14 February 2019

Radio Liberty

Ukrainian political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh was forcefully transferred to Simferopol remand center from Kerch prison supposedly due to the court session, as the Crimean human rights group reported on Facebook.

According to the so-called “Supreme Court” of Crimea, on January 30, 2019 the “court” received a cassation review of “Prosecutor’s Office” of Crimea on the verdict of Razdolnenskiy District Court in Balukh’s case on “disruption of activity Razdolnenskiy prison cell”.

Related: Crimean court refuses to release political prisoner Balukh on parole

The human rights activists informed that Sergiy Bulhakov, First Deputy of “the Prosecutor”, former officer of the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, filed the cassation review. Criminal proceeding under the article of Ukraine’s Criminal Code on state treason.

“Volodymyr Balukh and his defenders are not familiar with the content of this causational review, so it remains unknown what exactly the “prosecutor” asks. The Ukrainian refuses to take part in any session of the occupation courts stating that they are illegal, so he was against transferring to Simferopol,” the human rights activists noted.

Related: Defence of Ukrainian political prisoner Balukh requests his parole

Earlier, the deputy chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, Ahtem Chyigoz, reported that Ukrainian political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh was beaten up and threatened to get killed in the Simferopol remand center.  

According to the Deputy Chairman, Balukh was taken out from his cell, severely beaten up and is threatened to get killed.

Related: Ukraine's Balukh transferred to Kerch penal colony

On September 10, the Supreme Court of occupied Crimea controlled by the Kremlin did not grant the appeal of Volodymyr Balukh’s lawyer Olga Dinze on his conditional release. It was noted that the activist participated in the session through a video conference from the remand prison.

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. 

Related: Ukraine's political prisoner Balukh to be transferred to Kerch prison

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.

Related: Ukrainian political prisoner Balukh ceases hunger strike

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