Former political prisoners Karpyuk and Balukh are now working in Office of Ombudsperson. First monitoring visit scheduled for Lukyanovsky pre-trial detention center
Former political prisoners Mykola Karpyuk and Volodymyr Balukh will work in the Office of the Ukrainian Ombudsperson.
Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine for Human Rights Lyudmila Denisova told about their social activities on December 10 on Facebook.
“I’d like to note that in the near future Mykola Karpyuk, who heads the public organization Ukrainian Center for the Prevention of Torture, will be appointed by my order to be a member of the Expert Council under the Human Rights Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada, and Volodymyr Balukh will join the Coordinating Council on the implementation of the national preventive mechanism under the Human Rights Commissioner,” the Ombudsperson wrote on social networks.
Denisova further noted that upon returning from Russian captivity, Karpyuk and Balukh continued to engage in social activities, they signed a Memorandum of Cooperation to prevent torture in in custodial institutions as well as other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
The first joint monitoring visit will be carried out in the Lukyanovsky pre-trial detention center in order to verify the elimination of deficiencies identified during the previous monitoring.
Denisova hopes that cooperation with former political prisoners will help ensure and protect the rights of Ukrainian citizens in places of detention, including on the territory of the Russian Federation, part of the temporarily occupied Donbass and temporarily occupied Crimea.
In 2016, the Chechen Supreme Court found Mykola Karpyuk and Stanislav Klykh guilty on charges of killing Russian citizens in the Russian-Chechen war. Karpyuk was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison, Klykh – to 20 years. At the same time, both Ukrainians had never been to Chechnya before.
In 2017, Volodymyr Balukh, who hung the Ukrainian flag on the facade of his house in the annexed Crimea, was sentenced to 5 years in a general regime colony and a fine of 10 thousand rubles in the aggregate of two criminal cases – allegedly for beating the “head of the temporary detention facility” and for the illegal acquisition, sale and possession of weapons. The “Supreme Court” of Crimea in October 2018 reviewed the sentence of Balukh and shortened his sentence by only one month. On October 18, the Ukrainian was taken to Kerch Correctional Colony No. 2. On January 25, 2019, the “Kerch City Court” did not approve the application of the defense of Balukh for his parole. After this, the political prisoner was transported to Russia.
QHA media reported that on September 7, Kremlin prisoners arrived at Boryspil Airport – 24 Ukrainian sailors and another 11 political prisoners returned to Ukraine.
“Then the final formula will be modelled [for exchange of prisoners – Ed.]. However, as long as the verification of the majority of the exchange participants has not been carried out, it can be assumed that will be possible to exchange a little more than 200 people in total,” the message says.