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Semena won’t return to occupied Crimea

19.02.2020, 13:54
Photo credit: Oleksandra Surgan/Krym.Realii (RFE/RL)
Photo credit: Oleksandra Surgan/Krym.Realii (RFE/RL)

Mykola Semena, contributor to Crimea.Reality and former political prisoner, said he would not return to Crimea until it was annexed, as he told it on February 18 asked by Radio Crym.Realii (RFE/RL).

“I am not going to return to the occupied territory. I went to the mainland territory of Ukraine for an indefinite term. As long as the part of Ukraine is occupied territory, I cannot consider it my home. My family thinks the same. And I guess, if this (annexation. - Ed. ) lasts for a very long time, then we will have to change our place of residence, ”Semena told.

As IMI reported, on 18 February, Semena left Crimea and arrived to mainland territory of Ukraine for treatment on February 18.

 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

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