Open appeal of human rights organizations on the illegal conviction of Ihor Movenko
To Governments of Ukraine,
EU Member States, Switzerland, Norway,
the USA, Canada, Australia and Japan
to international organizations
On May 4th 2018 Mr Pavel Kryllo, a judge of ‘Gagarinsky District Court’ of Sevastopol City (a RF citizen who has arrived from Omsk City) passed a judgment on Mr Ihor Movenko, a Ukrainian activist, and handed him a two-year’s sentence in the general regime penal colony for comments in the social network ‘CRIMEA is UKRAINE’ group.
Persecuting Mr Movenko for his open pro-Ukrainian position by the occupation authorities is unlawful and politically reasoned. The criminal case against him has been falsified as the main ‘evidence’ in the case is a linguistic expertise made by a RF FSB expert, though the findings of the defense side independent expert have been disregarded by the court.
The judge’s decision also demonstrates his prejudice. With even a prosecutor demanding a conditional punishment sentence for Mr Movenko, the judge sentenced him to 2 years in the colony. Moreover, earlier the same judge had passed a judgement on three years in custody for Mr Volodymyr Prysych, a long-distance trucker from Kharkiv, one of the ‘Ukrainian Commandos Case’ defendants.
When investigating the case, the RF FSB was considering the comment in terms of enmity towards Russia and the Crimea annexation fact instead of a danger for the people. The comment, Mr Movenko, a citizen of Ukraine, has been sentenced for, demonstrates an open disagreement with the peninsula occupation.
‘A selective approach of the occupation authorities in applying ‘extremist articles’ is proved by the fact that the criminal case against Mr Ihor Movenko has been opened after he tried to have the attack of former BERKUT Ukrainian special policeman on him been properly investigated. Nobody has been finally indicted for attacking the Ukrainian, while the victim himself has been accused criminally under ‘the extremist article’.
We are appealing to the international organizations and the governments of democratic states with the following requests:
1) to address the Russian Federation with a demand to set free Mr Ihor Movenko and to stop persecuting the Ukrainian activists in the occupied Crimea;
2) to introduce personal sanctions against the persons accessory to the persecution of Mr Ihor Movenko;
3) to up the sectoral sanctions against the Russian Federation for regular violations of human rights and committing of military crimes in Crimea.
We are appealing to the Ukrainian authorities and calling for
1) investigating properly all the facts of persecuting Mr Ihor Movenko, a citizen of Ukraine, and bringing to justice the persons guilty of violating the human rights and committing military crimes in Crimea;
2) supporting regularly and comprehensively the family of Mr Movenko and all political prisoners deprived unlawfully of liberty by the Russian Federation and the Crimean occupation authorities.
Description of the situation with persecuting Mr Ihor Movenko:
On September 7th 2016 Mr Ihor Movenko was beaten up in Sevastopol for the AZOV battalion emblem and the coat-of-arms of Ukraine he had on his bicycle frame.
The medical diagnosis said the patient presented with an open craniocerebral trauma, a cerebral commotion, a basal scull fracture, a jaw fracture, a closed fracture of nose bones, an eye-bulb injury.
The Crimean Human Rights Group has found out that the Ukrainian was attacked by Mr Volodymyr Sukhodol’sky, a former BERKUT Ukrainian special police group officer who betrayed the oath in 2014 and joined the Russian police.
However, no case of beating the Ukrainian was opened. On the contrary, on September 22nd a court session took place at the ‘Gagarinsky District Court of Sevastopol’ and injured Movenko was imposed a RUR2,000 fine for ‘disseminating fascist symbols’.
The Crimean tried to make the police start a case on the fact of beating. He wrote official letters to the ‘Investigation Committee’, ‘Prosecutor’s Office’, and ‘police’ of Sevastopol, though it was for nothing.
On December 16th 2016 the FSB officers came to Mr Movenko’s workplace and took him away. The Ihor’s spouse was said that the husband was being taken to the Sevastopol Police Department. She was forbidden to speak with him but Ihor managed to inform that he had been beaten, and threatened with putting into the Detention Center if he did not confess the extremism.
The same day his home was searched, and a laptop, desktop hard drives, SIM cards, a start package pack and a mobile were seized. Seven people were conducting the search.
On October 26th 2017 the Ukrainian activist was handed a decision on bringing him up to the court as the defendant under RF CC Article 280.2 (public appeals to extremist activities) in the Sevastopol FSB Office.
When hearing at the court, the defense presented the proofs of innocence, extenuations, and a certificate of good conduct of the Ukrainian, but the judge disregarded everything. Moreover, interrogations of witnesses at the court showed the facts of falsifying the case against Mr Ihor Movenko by the FSB people.
Olga Skrypnyk, Crimean Human Rights Group
Oleksandr Pavlichenko, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union
Tetiana Pechonchyk, Human Rights Information Center