A Crimean teacher and blogger Yuri Ilchenko is a political prisoner accused of extremism. He managed to escape from house arrest in Sevastopol to the territory of Ukraine. Alim Aliyev, the expert on Civil Communications of "Crimea SOS", was the first to receive Yuri Ilchenko in his office according to a QHA correspondent.
“I was the first to meet Yuri in our office. He smiled though his hands were bleeding. Two months have passed since his escape from the Russian captivity,” said Alim Aliyev, an expert on Civil Communications of "Crimea SOS".
The political prisoner Yuri Ilchenko told about his persecution in the "Peninsula of fear". It started with the refusal to change the Ukrainian citizenship into the Russian.
“I am a public enemy for the Russians. Our family was the first to refuse from the citizenship of the occupant country. My parents said that "Death is better than a Russian passport." And when I was in prison, I decided not to accept freedom in exchange for citizenship,” tells the Crimean.
He remembers the Security Forces to brake into his house for a search.
“July 2, 2015, a knock at the door woke me up at 11.00 a.m. My father opened the door and 10 security officials broke into the apartment... After a 4-hour search the FSB took 3 phones, a camera, a computer, and video tapes. First I was arrested for two weeks, and then the detention was extended for 2 months,” said Yuri Ilchenko.
A 38-year-old Yuri Ilchenko is an owner of a foreign languages school. He speaks 8 languages fluently. The teacher posted articles on his personal website criticizing the Russian occupation of the peninsula and its aggression in the East of Ukraine. It resulted in filing a criminal case against him. Pro-Russian Crimean authorities charged Ilchenko under the articles "Public calls for extremist activity" and "Incitement of ethnic hatred and enmity".
July 2, 2015, the Russian Federal Security Service and the Extremism Combat Centre arrested Yuri Ilchenko and placed him in the detention facility in Simferopol for 11 months. In June, he was transferred to house arrest, but he escaped to Ukraine.