Location Ukraine Ukraine

Ukrainian nationalists seized Court of Appeals in Odessa — threaten to kill judges unless decision freeing innocent prisoner is reversed

At 12:00 on 7 June in Odessa, Ukraine, a crowd of Ukrainian nationalists carried out a siege of the Court of Appeals. They threatened to set fire to the building and kill the judges hearing the case of Yevgeny Mefёdov, who has been held in prison since the massacre of 46 people in Odessa’s House of Trade Unions on May 2, 2014.

Mr. Mefёdov had nothing to do with the massacre. In fact, he was a victim of that tragedy, which was carried out by a mob led by nationalists. When the judges today decided to finally release Mefёdov from custody, the nationalists barricaded the doors to the courtroom and threatened to repeat the massacre of 2014. All this was recorded by video cameras:


The situation was only resolved when police in the courtroom arrested — not the nationalists, but Mefёdov, on the charge of violating public order in the courtroom! He was then taken by police to the detention center, where he will be held in administrative detention for 72 hours.

None of the nationalists was arrested.

While today’s situation at the Court of Appeals ended without bloodshed, the actions by the nationalists were blatantly illegal and demonstrate just how far Ukraine has descended into a full catastrophe of the rule of law.

The Council of Mothers of May 2 is closely following these events and we call on the governments of all the democratic countries of the world to demand that the Ukrainian Justice authorities immediately release Yevgeny Mefёdov from custody and put an end to the current reign of terror by the nationalists.

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