Gennadiy Afanasyev, a native of Crimea imprisoned in Russia for political reasons, is being forced into acquiring Russian citizenship, Ernest Mezak, a member of the Memorial human rights group based in the Russian republic of Komi, wrote on his Facebook page.

“The day before yesterday, Gennadiy Afanasyev told members of our group that Russian authorities have not given up attempts to force him into acquiring Russian citizenship. He even wanted to go on a hunger strike to protest that. I talked him out of it saying that it is not worth risking his health for the sake of Russian citizenship. Instead, I suggested that he simply made a statement saying what citizenship he really wanted,” wrote Mezak.

Ernest Mezak also published a video in which Gennadiy Afanasyev makes a statement in Ukrainian calling himself a Ukrainian citizen.

It was reported earlier that Gennadiy Afanasyev was arrested in May 2014 on charges of membership in ‘Ole Sentsov’s terrorist group’. He and Ukrainian film maker Oleg Sentsov, Alexander Kolchenko and Aleksey Chirniy were found guilty of preparing terrorist attacks in Russian-occupied Crimea.