WASHINGTON (QHA) -

The US State Department calls on the occupation authorities in the Crimea to release the illegally convicted Ukrainian activist Volodymyr Balukh, according to the message of the US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Twitter.

“Russian occupation authorities in Crimea should release political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh, who has been on hunger strike for 43 days. Unacceptable for Russia to jail a Ukrainian citizen for flying a Ukrainian flag in Crimea and deny him medical care,” she wrote.

QHA reported that Volodymyr Balukh has been starving for 43 days and does not intend to stop his protest.

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

Previously, Razdolnensky district court in the occupied Crimea condemned Volodymyr Balukh for 3 years and 7 months of imprisonment for his civic 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 has happened.

QHA