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We can’t proceed the other way, and we will do everything to return him home – mother of Yevgeniy Panov after seeing him in the Detention Center

Mrs Vera Kotelianets, mother of Mr Yevgeniy Panov, a Ukrainian political prisoner, sentenced in Crimea ‘for preparing acts of sabotage’, managed to get a short-term meeting with the son in the Detention Center. The Ukrainian told the Crimean Human Rights Group how such visits took usually place, what parcels and medicines might be transferred to the Crimean Detention Center.

‘I saw my son on August 14th, we communicated through glass by phone’, Mrs Kotelianets said. She mentioned that a room for short-term visits in the Detention Center had been repaired new glass and new phone receivers had been installed, to see and to hear had become better. Earlier the glass had been old, obsolete, and the receivers – old, and nothing could be heard.

The old woman had to wait for six hours for an hour’s meeting.

‘I was waiting for the meeting from 09.00am till 03.30pm though I had been at the Detention Center by 07.00am. I had recorded into the queue but had been only the 22nd. The people start queuing since 05.00am, many of them have become familiar to me since we often meet each other there.

I may leave a bag with food products that I have brought from home, and go to the market to buy vegetables, fruit, sausage for the parcel, the woman told. ‘At 08.00am a fence door opens into a small fenced yard where the bags may be left. At the same time you should submit your application with your data and the bag inventory. The applications are considered and approved till 09.00am. If someone is forbidden to receive the parcels or someone of detained has been convoyed away, the relatives will be informed thereof after 09.00am. I managed to buy medicines and obtain the relevant documents at the pharmacy the day before, so I have recorded into the queue for delivering the medicines: one of medical staff comes to pick them up from 02.00pm till 03.00pm. There are several windows in the small airless room: two for transferring the parcels, and one – for the medicine. Here is also a  window where the documents are checked and application for visit are taken . Here is also a door from this room to the other one, for the visits. This time I had to wait for the visit so long. People were afraid to come and to ask, I was not. I knocked twice and finally a shift superior came and told that they lacked people and nobody might bring the detained for the visit’, Panov’s mother told.

According to the information of Mrs Vera Kotelianets, there are a lot of people from mainland Ukraine in the Crimean Detention Center, and relatives also come to visit them.

‘You may become familiar with the people around while waiting, many have known me already there. I do not conceal that I am from Ukraine, even give recommendations how it is better to come here from Ukraine and return. Many people are scared of contacts, conceal whom they have come to. The reasons of detentions, surely, are not clearly stated by anyone, but I help how I can’, Mrs Kotelianets said.

Yevgeniy Panov’s mother mentioned that she had been allowed to speak with the son just for a bit more than 60min after a hard and long trip to Crimea from Energodar and several hours of waiting. ‘He seems to look well given that this is a detention center. Though the problems with teeth and spine are still in place. This time I have brought a bone treatment package’.

The Ukrainian told the mother that there were problems with drinking water in the Detention Center, a shop on the facility territory was not always open, and the prisoners had to boil and settle tap water. ‘Now he is in a dry cell, through there are very wet cells in the basements where rotten pipes go through, with moulds and midges. Yevgeniy was in such a cell for punishment, and started immediately writing reports to the detention center head regarding the staying conditions, and remanded disinfection because there were rats and insects in the mats. It took him one month and a half to have disinfection made. The lawyer made a photo of bites Yevgeniy had, and we wrote applications both to Ms Lutkovska, and Ms Moskal’kova. And then he was moved to another cell’, the Ukrainian woman explained.

‘Now the court proceedings have finished, the appeal has been placed. When it will be considered even the lawyers do not know. Friends write letters to Zhenia, I have transferred them to the son. Brother Igor often writes encouraging letters to him, but his letters are not always handed to Zhenia. The son worries that he creates so many problems for us, criticizes me for coming to see him with such heat. But we can’t proceed the other way, and we will do everything to return him home’, Mrs Kotelianets stressed.

For information: On July 13th 2018 ‘the Supreme Court of Crimea’ sentenced Mr Yevgeniy Panov, a citizen of Ukraine, to 8 years in the maximum security penal colony.

The RF FSB has accused Mr. Yevgeniy Panov ‘of preparing acts of sabotage in Crimea as commando group member.’. In addition the Ukrainian was charged with ‘illegal trafficking of ammunition across the Custom Union customs border’ (Article 30.1, Article 281.2-a, Article 30.3 and Article 226.1.3, and Article 222.3 of RF CC).

Torturing and applying psychological pressure, evidence falsification, facts of creating the obstacles for the lawyers, disrespect of the right to a fair trial have been recorded in the case of Yevgeniy Panov. He as well as other citizens of Ukraine who have become defendants within the ‘commando case’, are, as the human rights experts think, victims of politically reasoned criminal persecution.

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