KYIV (QHA) -

Doctors, international missions and the Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights cannot get access to the political prisoners in the occupied Crimea, the First Vice-Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Iryna Gerashchenko stated on Facebook.

“Doctors, international missions, ombudsmen do not have access to the political prisoners of Crimea. We are looking for all the opportunities to help them," she wrote.

Gerashchenko further noted that she is concerned about the hunger strike of Ukrainian activist Volodymyr Balukh, who was illegally convicted on the annexed peninsula.

"Volodymyr Balukh's hunger strike is very disturbing. The hunger strike as a resistance to the occupation regime. Hunger strike for the idea, for the Ukrainian Crimea.”

QHA reported that Volodymyr Balukh continues his hunger strike, started on March 19 in Simferopol jail.
Ombudsman of Ukraine Lyudmila Denisova asked the Russian side to organize a medical examination for political prisoner Balukh and check the conditions of his detention.

Volodymyr Balukh continues his hunger strike, having health problems. Human rights defender Volodymyr Chekrygin said that Balukh has liver problems and he has a cold.

Reference: Balukh declared an indefinite hunger strike, protesting against the verdict of the court. March 19, the Ukrainian was transferred to a solitary confinement cell.

The Razdolnensky district court in the occupied Crimea sentenced Volodymyr Balukh to 3 years and 7 months of imprisonment for his civil position. Volodymyr Balukh will serve time in the colony-settlement. The Ukrainian activist was taken into custody in the courthouse.

Volodymyr Balukh is a Crimean farmer, who hung out a Ukrainian flag on his house in 2014, which was repeatedly ripped off by Crimean security officials. In November 2016 Volodymyr attached to his house a sign with the inscription "18, Heroes of Heavenly Hundred Street”.
According to him, he then started receiving threats from local “administration” saying that if he did not remove it, then some drugs or weapons could be found in his house, which, in fact, happened.

QHA