Foreign Ministry demands release of Ukrainian activist Balukh

Foreign Ministry demands release of Ukrainian activist Balukh

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Ukrinform
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has demanded the release of activist Volodymyr Balukh, who was convicted in occupied Crimea to five years in prison for patriotism.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mariana Betsa wrote this on Twitter on Monday.

"Five years for patriotism... The occupier is trying to destroy all patriots of Ukraine. We demand the release of activist Balukh," she said.

On Monday, January 15, a Russian-controlled prosecutor asked a court in Russian-annexed Crimea to sentence Ukrainian Volodymyr Balukh to five years and one month in prison, and fine him 20,000 Russian rubles.

Russia's FSB detained Balukh on December 8, 2016, stating that he possessed ammunition. In August 2017, the court sentenced him to three years and seven months of imprisonment in a low-security penal colony, as well as to a fine of ten non-taxable minimum incomes.

Balukh's verdict was canceled during the consideration of the appeal. The case was sent for reconsideration. On December 1, the measure of restraint for the Ukrainian activist was changed to two-month house arrest. Balukh's defense team believes that he is a victim of repression for his pro-Ukrainian views.

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