Ukraine: Russian-backed separatists 'sentence' prominent academic in sham trial
|Publication Date||4 May 2017|
|Cite as||Amnesty International, Ukraine: Russian-backed separatists 'sentence' prominent academic in sham trial, 4 May 2017, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/590c3e1a4.html [accessed 21 February 2018]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The de facto authorities of the self-proclaimed, Russian-backed "Donetsk People's Republic" in eastern Ukraine have convicted a retired university professor after unfair and absurd proceedings, Amnesty International said today.
The organization named the academic, Ihor Kozlovsky, 63, a prisoner of conscience after the unofficial military court yesterday "sentenced" him to two years and eight months behind bars on trumped-up charges of weapons possession.
"If the outcome were not so serious, it would be laughable that the de facto prosecution presented the court with two metal pipes as 'evidence' that Kozlovsky was keeping weapons in his home. But it is outrageous that this renowned former academic will spend time behind bars as a prisoner of conscience," said Denis Krivosheev, Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International.
"All Ihor Kozlovsky is 'guilty' of is his opposition to the de facto authorities in Donetsk. This clearly transpired as soon as the 'judge' described him as 'an especially untrustworthy citizen' on account of some of his past contacts. This sham trial by unrecognized authorities cannot stand and he must be released immediately and unconditionally."
Amnesty International is also urging the de facto authorities in Donetsk to refrain from the practice of unlawfully detaining civilians in the territory under their control.