Some 179 inmates transferred from Crimea to Russian prisons

Most of the prisoners were later amnestied under Ukrainian laws, but the Crimean ‘authorities’ refused to release them.

3 June 2016 16:10

At least 179 prisoners were transferred from Crimea to penitentiary institutions in the Russian Federation since March 2014, states the UN report called ‘Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine 16 February to 15 May 2016’.   

“The majority of cases concern people who were sentenced in Crimea before Ukraine ceased exercising effective control over the peninsula. This raises serious concerns about the retroactive application of laws. Moreover, while many were later amnestied under Ukrainian law, the de facto authorities have refused to release them,” the document reads.

According to the report, a number  of  people  transferred  to  the  Russian  Federation  were arrested by the de facto authorities after the March 2014 ‘referendum’, including Oleh Sientsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko, Hennadii Afanasiev and Oleksii Chyrnii, all arrested  in  Simferopol  in  May  2014 and  sentenced for terrorism by Russian Federation  courts

“Transfers to remote facilities, often difficult to reach from Crimea, endanger the family links of detainees,” the report says.

The document also states that according to a report of the de facto ‘Crimean Ombudsperson’ for 2014, 22 convicts serving their sentences in Crimea filed petitions to be extradited to Ukraine after the March 2014 ‘referendum’ and 18 rejected Russian citizenship in  writing.  However, information at the disposal of OHCHR indicates that no prisoners have yet been sent back to mainland Ukraine.