Mother of Gennady Afanasyev: ‘World’s attention could save lives of our children’
Russia continues practice of harassment of Ukrainians in its territory, as well as in the occupied Crimea.
Four people were arrested in Crimea only in February. The public activists, human rights defenders and relatives of political prisoners informed the diplomats about the arrests at the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.
The event was attended by Larysa Kolchenko, mother of Oleksandr Kolchenko, Olga Afanasyeva, mother of Gennady Afanasyev, and Natalia Kaplan, sister of Oleg Sentsov.
Since the convicts remain under pressure from the colonies’ leadership even after they are sentenced, it is important for the international community to monitor the status of their imprisonment until the final liberation, Olga Afanasyeva said.
“Only the attention of the international community can guarantee at least preservation of lives of our children, who are in Russian prisons,” she said.
“Our LetMyPeopleGo list so far includes 25 political prisoners from Ukraine. Of them, 19 were arrested in Crimea, 12 of them are Crimean Tatars. Seven people were transferred to Russia after they had been detained in Crimea, which is contrary to the international law. 12 are still in prison in the occupied peninsula,” human rights activist Oleksandra Matviychuk said.
Ombudsperson Valeria Lutkovska added that her agency recorded numerous human rights violations in these cases, in particular, the use of torture.