HRC Asked to Investigate Cases of Political Prisoners in Odessa

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Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

5th May, 2016


The council on human rights under the President of Russia has called on the UN, Amnesty International, and the Ombudsman of Ukraine to pay attention to the conditions  of detained political prisoners in Ukraine.

A member of the Council under the Russian President on development of civil society and human rights, on 5th May, sent a formal letter (at the disposal of “Izvestia“) to the Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for children’s rights Nikolay Kuleba, Verkhovna Rada commissioner on human rights Valeriya Lutkovska, the Rada UN high Commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the Secretary General of Amnesty International Salil Shetty, and the Executive Director in Ukraine Tatyana Mazur. The letter called for a thorough investigation into the situation of political prisoners in Ukraine.

In particular, the letter said the case that deserves undivided attention is the Ukrainian journalist, chief editor of the channel “Bessarabia TV Elena Glischinskoy. On 27th April, she gave birth to a child that, due to complications in pregnancy, within two days was placed in intensive care on artificial ventilation, and was diagnosed with hepatitis and herpes.

“We call on you to assist in an impartial investigation into the rights of the journalist Glischinskoy with her child and other Ukrainian political prisoners to a fair trial,” the document said.

Today, in the framework of the Minsk contact group to resolve the situation in Ukraine, the cases of 89 political prisoners was investigated, eleven of which have still not been charged.

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The initiator of the letter, the Executive Secretary of the HRC under the President of the Russia, the Chairman of the coordination Council of the Russian public organization “Union of Russian volunteers” Yana Lantratova, during a conversation with “Izvestia“, stated why it is necessary to use international human rights organization.

“In this case, it is the issue of violating a person’s rights. The situation is catastrophic, and relatives of the detainees say that they are living in uninhabitable conditions. We hope that in this case international organizations will meet with Kiev and will hold an impartial investigation, because our calls get no answers,” said Lantratova.

Primorsky court of Odessa twice denied Glischinskoy’s lawyers from changing the measure of restraint, despite being hospitalized in jail and being at risk of a miscarriage. As a result, she gave birth to a child in a medical insulator on the ground floor, which contained TB patients. “Such conditions pose a direct threat to the life and health of mothers and newborns,” the letter said.

The Ukrainian journalist in Odessa was jailed on the 29th of April 2015 on charges of being a threat to the territorial integrity of Ukraine and treason. In particular, the indictment refers to “the imposition and dissemination through the media of the following ideas: possibilities of self-acceptance of decisions to participate in mobilization to create Bessarabia legislature unintended by the Constitution of Ukraine — the national Parliament — and to give Bessarabia special status”.

Earlier, official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova spoke about Kiev preventing alternative sources of information and restricting journalists.

“What the Ukrainian leadership is doing, in both form and substance, is unacceptable, and it is an absolutely clear manipulation of public consciousness. This covering of alternative sources of information, dissemination of data not corresponding to the truth, the whipping up of public hysteria… But it will get worse. When the “Russian threat” is defeated, it will start to deal with all other nationalities, and nationalities that live in Ukraine. This has already taken place in the world,” said Zakharova.

The Verkhovna Rada refused to comment on the situation, declaring that information from the Russian media has not been provided. The office of the Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada on human rights was unavailable.

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