The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its resolute protest over the decisions of the so-called “courts” of the Russian occupation authorities of 13 July 2018 on the cases of citizens of Ukraine Yevhen Panov and Volodymyr Balukh.
The charges against Yevhen Panov of “involving in subversive and terrorist activities” are fabricated and politically motivated, and his sentence to 8 years in a high-security colony is illegitimate.
It is of particular concern that Yevhen Panov faced tortures during “pre-trial investigations”, which is a flagrant violation of the basic norms of international law in the human rights area, enshrined, inter alia, in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a number of international conventions against tortures and other inhuman treatment.
We strongly condemn the ongoing repressions against Volodymyr Balukh, who has been denied today the parole by the “zaliznychnyi district court” in the occupied Simferopol.
We demand from the occupant country to stop repressions against the citizens of Ukraine Yevhen Panov, Volodymyr Balukh and over 60 of our compatriots, who are held by the Kremlin regime in Russia and in the occupied Crimea, to release them and to provide their unhindered return home.
We demand once again that Russia must implement to their full the resolutions of the UN General Assembly “Territorial integrity of Ukraine” of 27 March 2014, “Situation of human rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine)" of 19 December 2016 and of 19 December 2017 as well as the order of the International Court of Justice regarding provisional measures in the in the case of Ukraine vs Russia regarding the application of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
We call on the international community and international human rights organizations to use all possible legal and diplomatic means aimed at releasing the Ukrainian citizens, illegally detained in Russia and in temporarily occupied Crimea; bringing those responsible for human rights violations and tortures in occupied Crimea to account; as well as to strengthen their pressure on the occupant state to restore the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.