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Human rights activists condemn Iryna Danilovych's sentence

28.12.2022, 16:11
Photo: Crimean Process
Photo: Crimean Process

Human rights activists condemn the sentence issued to citizen journalist and activist Iryna Danilovych, whom the Crimean occupation authorities sentenced to seven years in prison and a fine of 50,000 rubles on a trumped-up charge of carrying an explosive device on December 28, reports ZMINA.

They also provided evidence that the case was political.

Volodymyr Chekryhin, deputy head of the Crimean Human Rights Group, said that the case against Iryna Danylovych was grossly falsified, starting with Russian FSB officers effectively kidnapping her.

"The entire so-called 'investigation' against her was comprised of illegal methods: having been kidnapped, Iryna was kept in the basement of the FSB office and faced with various forms of pressure and intimidation, even torture – she was beaten and strangled. But the FSB people were calling it 'voluntarily attending interrogations.' During the interrogations, she was forced to confess to having ties with the Ukrainian special services, which they failed to prove. She was forced to sign blank forms, and then had 200 grams of explosives planted into her purse. The so-called 'trial' in her case completely deprived Iryna Danilovych of her right to a fair trial and was a cynical pageant," said Chekryhin.

He added that "judge" Natalia Kulinska ignored all obvious instances of falsification, as well as Danilovych's claims about being tortured. The "judge" refused to question 15 defense witnesses, allowing only one such witness to be questioned. Meanwhile, the prosecution witnesses, who were either fake or subject to FSB and were reading their testimonies out from a piece of paper, were allowed to testify.

According to him, the "judge" did this on purpose, because if many witnesses had spoken during the hearing, it would have revealed the numerous inconsistencies in the case.

Also, the "court" did not study the physical evidence – the explosives – during the hearing.

All this clearly indicates that Iryna is being imprisoned solely for her civic activism and support for Ukraine.

The deputy permanent representative of the President in Crimea, Denys Chistikov, is convinced that Russia is using the Danylovych case to step up the pressure on Ukrainians under occupation: "Iryna's story is a vivid example of the occupation administration's tactics after the full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022 – an attempt to further intimidate Ukrainian citizens living in temporarily occupied Crimea, so that they do not resist. Russian security forces once again demonstrate that for them, human rights are just meaningless words strung together."

At the same time, Chistikov adds that when it comes to methods for pressuring, namely physical ones, the occupiers do not discern between men and women. He also expressed his belief that de-occupation of the Crimean peninsula will put an end to the gross violations of the Crimeans' rights on the peninsula.

The head of the ZMINA Center for Human Rights, Tetyana Pechonchyk, reported that this case resembles the case of freelance Krym.Realii correspondent Vladyslav Yesypenko. She reminded that human rights organizations keep recording the "judges" and "defense attorneys" complicit in violations of the rights of Ukrainian citizens in the temporarily occupied Crimea.

Deputy CEO of the Ukrainian Institute, member of the PEN Ukraine executive board, ambassador of the #SolidarityWords campaign for Iryna Danilovych's release, Alim Aliyev, added that it is important to fight for Iryna to be released, as well as for other Crimean political prisoners who have been incarcerated on the territory of Russia and Russian occupied Crimea.

As IMI reported, on December 28, the occupation court of Feodosia, Crimea, sentenced citizen journalist and human rights activist Iryna Danilovych to seven years in prison on charges of illegal storage and manufacture of explosives under Part 1 of Art. 222.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

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