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The FSS persecutes Vinogradov family of Ukrainian activists in Crimea

Андрій Виноградов и Наталка Харченко, фото Фейсбук

Today, on 29 May, in the FSS office in Crimea Ukrainian activist Natalia Kharchenko was questioned again; she is the wife of the activist of the Ukrainian Cultural Centre Andrei Vinogradov.

This is the fourth interrogation since the search of the Vinogradovs’ house.

Natalia’s lawyer Edem Sememlyaev told the Crimean Human Rights Group (CHRG) that the investigator asked his client one question whether she knows the login and password for entering the page of Natalia Kharchenko in the social network VKontakte.

“We referred to Article 51 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and refused to give any evidence. The questioning lasted for about 20 minutes this time, “explained the lawyer.

“In the case of Natalia Kharchenko, a pre-investigation is still conducted; this may lead to the initiation of a criminal case. Computer equipment that was seized earlier is still not returned, “- said Semedlyaev and added that each questioning negatively affects the health of his client.

Pre-investigation checks against Natalia Kharchenko are carried out in accordance with Part 2 of Article 280.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation “Public appeals for the implementation of actions aimed at violating the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation”. In the beginning of January the FSS officers conducted a search in the spouses’ home. According to the lawyer, the FSS investigator has already collected two volumes of the “case.”

According to Andrey Vinogradov  who is a husband of Natalya, his wife was summoned to the FSS for the fourth time, after the “house search” in January of this year in her parents’ home where she lives with her husband and two young children.

“The calls for questioning began after the search on 12 January, 2017. At seven in the morning, eight people arrived by car. On paper there was simply a court decision to “examine the premises,” but the reasons for this “serch” were not indicated. Police officers conducted such a “search” for about three hours. They did not search all the rooms; they searched only our bedroom, the library and the rooms where the equipment was. They took only those devices which we were using to go online. Four computers were seized and have not been returned yet. These were computers of my wife, my father-in-law, my mother-in-law and mine. Our phones were taken for about forty minutes, they looked through contacts, copied some information and returned them,” -Vinogradov told to CHRG.

The activist believes that the FSS officers tried to force the spouses to testify against themselves.

“When we were summoned for a second time, the investigator said that we should come to pick up the equipment. However, when we arrived, they did not give us any equipment. They put a condition: either we testify against ourselves and say whose computer is that or equipment will not be returned to us,” – said Vinogradov to CHRG.

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