SIMFEROPOL / AQMESCIT (QHA) -

The director of a prison in urban settlements Razdolne in the occupied Crimea Valery Tkachenko was forced to write an application against the Ukrainian activist Volodymyr Balukh, in order to bring another criminal case against him. Balukh's lawyer Dmitry Dinze made a corresponding statement in a video message posted on the page of the Ukrainian Cultural Center activist in Crimea Mikhail Batrak on Facebook.

“The most amusing in the situation is that the victim (Valery Tkachenko) did not show any activity in the case, he was not interested in this criminal case at all. He was ordered to write a report and draw up all the documents to initiate this criminal case. He personally has no material and moral claims. It turns out that the police department of Razdolnensky district was interested in another criminal case against Balukh," Dinze noted.

The lawyer further stated that this was a politically motivated decision by the "law enforcement agencies".

"As far as I understand, Balukh has a conflict with all police officers here, they do not like him here as a citizen of Ukraine, and as a principled man who believes that the Crimea was captured by the Russian side. Balukh does not hide his political position, accordingly, police officers consider him an adherent of the "Right Sector", accusing him of extremist views. These facts were not confirmed, but the malice and anger towards him remained and boiled out into this criminal case.”

Reportedly, Volodymyr Balukh refused to stop the indefinite hunger strike that he started protesting against the verdict of the court. On March 19 the Ukrainian was transferred to a solitary confinement cell.

Reference: Razdolnensky district court in the occupied Crimea sentenced Volodymyr Balukh to 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