Convicted citizen of Ukraine declared a dry hunger strike in the SIZO of Simferopol

Дата: 24 April 2017
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Ukrainian citizen Andriy Lugin, who was sentenced in 2014 by Ukrainian courts to life imprisonment, announced a dry hunger strike in Simferopol SIZO (pre-trial detention centre). The prisoner demands to immediately resolve the issue of his transfer to mainland Ukraine.

As reported by lawyer Roman Martynovsky, expert of the Regional Human Rights Centre, to the Human Rights Information Centre.

According to him, Lugin has a number of serious illnesses, including one very rare illness. But medical assistance is not provided to the prisoner.

“For a long time, Lugin has been fighting against the Russian citizenship forcedly imposed on him, refusing to recognize himself as a Russian citizen and demanding to be transferred to the competent government of Ukraine. He has appealed to various instances: the Consulate of Ukraine, the Ukrainian and the Russian Ombudsmen, the Ministry of Justice… But no one responds to his appeals”, – noted Martynovsky.

He also said that Lugin’s family lives in the Crimea. However, the Russian authorities took him from the Crimea to one of the colonies in Mordovia.

In March of 2017, Lugin was transfered from Mordovia to Simferopol for some kind of investigative actions. He was promised to be left in Crimea, but now, on April 26, he is at risk of being transferred back to Mordovia.

Lugin prepared and delivered an open appeal to the Ukrainian authorities and international institutions, in which he asks to force the Russia to abide the PACE Resolution of 12.10.2016 and not to transfer him and other convicts from the Crimea, as well as to extradite the convicts, who wish to serve their sentence in Ukraine, to Ukraine.

Lugin also demands to stop the illegal practice of recognizing him as a “citizen of Russia”.

The text of the appeal was posted on the Facebook page of Crimean lawyer Edem Semedlyaev.

As a reminder, according to the report of the Crimean Human Rights Group, two deaths of Ukrainian citizens were recorded in autumn 2016 as a result of failure to provide proper medical assistance in the institutions of the penitentiary system of the occupied Crimea and Russia. In addition, on 24 March 2017, Valeriy Marzenko, one of the inmates of the Simferopol SIZO, died.

On March 17, Valeriya Lutkovska, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, transferred 12 people from the penitentiary institutions of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to the mainland Ukraine. The transfer was carried out by using the ad hoc mechanism, which was previously proposed by Ukrainian ombudsman.

Negotiations on the transfer of Ukrainian convicts to mainland Ukraine were conducted between the offices of Ombudsmen of Ukraine and Russia for more than two years.

In May 2016, Crimean prisoners sent an open letter to Ukrainian authorities, in which they asked the first persons of the State to find ways of returning them to the mainland Ukraine.

At the same time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine stated the legal complexity of this process, since Russia constantly demanded from the Ukraine and the international community to recognize Crimea as part of Russian territory.

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