Political prisoner Semena heads to Kyiv for treatment
Crimean political prisoner, journalist Mykola Semena left Crimea and arrived to mainland territory of Ukraine for treatment on February 18, as Krym. Realii (RFE/RL) reported.
Lately, the journalist, 69, developed some health issues. During the trial, it was found out he had serious heart and vertebral column problems.
He could not be properly treated in Crimea, since there have not highly qualified specialists. The experts from the Kyiv Institute of Neurosurgery agreed to treat him, but Russian investigators rejected Mykola Semena’s demand to go to Kyiv for treatment. The journalist refused the proposed alternative to be treated in Moscow clinics.
At the end of 2018 in Simferopol, he underwent surgery to remove the gallbladder and calculi from the biliary tract.
As Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights Lyudmila Denisova reported on Facebook, Semena “… came finally to the territory controlled by the Government of Ukraine. He is safe and heading to Kyiv. "
As IMI reported, on January 28, 2020, Mykola Semena received court papers officially confirming the termination of his probation and the expunging of his criminal record. The court in Crimea’s capital, Simferopol, on January 14 ruled to prematurely terminate the probation period and expunge the criminal record of Mykola Semena, who had been convicted of separatism on the peninsula.
Semena was arrested by Crimea’s Russia-imposed authorities in April 2016 and charged with acting against the “territorial integrity of the Russian Federation.”
He says the accusation was politically motivated.
On January 14, 2020, a Russian-controlled railway court in Simferopol considered and granted the request of lawyer Alexander Popkov and Crimean journalist Mykola Semena for early termination of probation and conviction of Semena.
Mykola Semena was charged with the criminal offense as it is stipulated by the Article 280.1 (2). Criminal Code of Russia "Public calls for actions aimed at violating the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation".
The FSB of Russia claimed that it was Semena who was the real author of publication for RFE/RL signed by pseudonym "Blockade as necessary first step to liberate Crimea". The former prosecutor of the annexed Crimea, said that the publication at Crym.Realii “justified acts of sabotage and extremism”.
On December 18, 2017, the controlled by Kremlin Supreme Court of Crimea partially mitigated the sentence for journalist Mykola Semena in part of additional sentence: ban to conduct public activity for two years instead of three, as it was in the previous court decision.
Mykola Semyna's defense party has filed complaint with the European Court of Human Rights contesting the decision of Russian court in Simferopol. However, the ECHR rejected to give priority to Mykola Semena's complaint.