Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry calls on Russia to immediately release activist Balukh

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry calls on Russia to immediately release activist Balukh

The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine calls on Russia to let Ukrainian doctors visit jailed activist Volodymyr Balukh, who was sentenced in Crimea, and release him.

"We call on the Russian Federation to let Ukrainian doctors visit political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh, who has been on hunger strike since March 18. We demand his immediate release," Spokeswoman for Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry Mariana Betsa wrote on Twitter.

The Federal Security Service of Russia detained Volodymyr Balukh on December 8, 2016. The FSB officers claimed that they had found 90 cartridges and several TNT blocks in the attic of his house.

March 14, the Kremlin-controlled Supreme Court of Crimea changed the verdict in the case of Ukrainian activist Volodymyr Balukh. The court excluded the paragraph on purchase of ammunition from the verdict and sentenced the activist to 3 years and 5 months of imprisonment in a penal colony settlement and fined him about UAH 4,600.

In August 2017, another criminal case was opened against Balukh. This happened after Balukh and his lawyer filed a complaint with the police about the actions of Valeriy Tkachenko, the chief of the Razdolnensky temporary detention facility. In response, Tkachenko filed a complaint against Balukh, claiming the activist beat him. According to the lawyers of the activist, Tkachenko himself attacked Volodymyr Balukh, namely: hit him, insulted with swear words and humiliated him on a national basis.

On March 19, the Kremlin-controlled Razdolnensky district court chose a pre-trial restriction for Volodymyr Balukh in form of detention until June 19, 2018.


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