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Resident of Ukraine Spent Month in Pre-Trial Detention Centre for Crossing Border with Crimea 48 times with Invalid Russian Passport

A resident of Ukraine spent a month in a pre-trial detention center and paid a fine for multiple crossing of the Crimean border with an allegedly illegal document used.

This is stated in the decision of the “Dzhankoy District Court”, the text of which is at the disposal of the Crimean Human Rights Group.

The decision says that a man who received a Russian passport in Yevpatoriya entered Crimea 24 times and left Crimea 24 times in 2016 in a car with Ukrainian registration plates.

In November 2017, the inspection established that in March 2014 the man allegedly had not lived in Crimea. According to the results of the check, the Russian passport issued to him was declared invalid.

The inspectors decided that the passport had been “issued on the basis of false information indicated by the applicant and granted in violation of the established procedure, and had to be seized out and destroyed”.

In December 2017, the man was detained and a criminal case was opened against him under Article 322 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Illegal crossing of the State Border of the Russian Federation without valid documents for the right to enter).

The man pleaded guilty to all 48 episodes qualified as “crossing the border of the Russian Federation with a valid passport of a citizen of the Russian Federation, but obtained in violation of the law.”

“Judge” Eduard Pikula imposed a fine, considering that the crime could be classified as minor, there were no negative consequences, and the man had been in jail for 25 days at the time of sentencing.

The man was fined RUR130,000, for the totality of the crimes committed by partial addition of punishments. However, due to the detention of the defendant, the punishment was reduced to RUR60,000. The man was released in the courtroom. His Russian passport was seized out, and Ukrainian documents – internal and foreign passports – were returned.

This case is a vivid example of the fact that receiving a “passport” of the Russian Federation by citizens of Ukraine in Crimea will not only subject them to deprivation of their rights and imposition of duties, but also threaten them for using it with criminal prosecution by the occupation authorities,” analyst Oleksandr Siedov, an expert of the Crimean Human Rights Group, noted.

We would remind that in 2015, the occupation authorities created a special commission in Crimea, that was to review the “legality” of issuing Russian passports to residents of the peninsula. For instance, passports were confiscated from people who had not lived in Crimea by March 2014.

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