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Night arbitrariness in Odessa

On the night of 18 to 19 September the struggle continued in the case of the May massacre in Odessa. Three supporters of federalization became victims of new arbitrariness. After acquittal, one More »

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Ukraine | CPJ calls on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to reaffirm his commitment to ensuring journalists’ safety

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), an independent press freedom advocacy organization, addressed a letter to Ukrainian president Poroshenko. The Committee is deeply disappointed by the lack of progress in the investigation into Pavel Sheremet’s death. “Now, we feel compelled to write to express our deep concern about actions taken by Ukraine’s state security service (SBU) that pose a significant threat to press freedom in Ukraine.”

Ukraine | Night arbitrariness in Odessa

On the night of 18 to 19 September the struggle continued in the case of the May massacre in Odessa. Three supporters of federalization became victims of new arbitrariness.

After acquittal, one of federalism supporters was attacked by the fascists. Ukrainian fascists were going to lynch supporters of federalization acquitted by the court. Therefore, the police took 15 people from the courtroom by bus and released them outside the city. One of the released was not lucky. He somehow fell to the fascists’ eyes: they attacked him and smashed his head with a metal object. The victim was hospitalized.
The same night the fate of Russian citizen Yevgeniy Mefyodov was decided. The court arrested him for 60 days on charges of separatism. At the same time Mefyodov was unable to use the services of his lawyer: he was defended by a free public defender. Mefyodov claimed that his right to defense was violated, but the court rejected these applications.
On a similar charge a Ukrainian citizen Oleg Dolzhenkov was arrested, but he managed to resort to the services of his permanent lawyer. The lawyer easily managed to prove that the demands of the investigative bodies are absurd. Nevertheless, the court ruled to arrest Dolzhenkov, turning the meeting into a farce.
First of all, according to the investigation, Dolzhenkov demonstrated an evil intent against the Ukrainian state when on March 28, 2014 he organized an auto rally devoted to the anniversary of Nikolayev city liberation from the Nazi invaders. Thus, the celebration of such events according to the version of the Kiev regime is equal to a crime.
Secondly, the investigation and the prosecutor considered the slogans “Forward, Slavs, Russian, forward!” and “Glory to heroes-Olshantsy!” as separatist appeals. Olshantsy means members of the detachment of Senior Lieutenant Olshansky, who landed in March 1944 in the port of Nikolayev and began an operation to liberate the city. Thus, the investigation believes that the glorification of the heroes of the Great Patriotic War is equal to an attempt on the Ukrainian statehood.
Dolzhenkov’s lawyer asked not to place her client in custody. In particular, she noted that Dolzhenkov was illegally detained by members of the Security Service and the prosecutor’s office, who had not the appropriate authority. Investigative bodies actually kidnapped Dolzhenkov without informing her about the client’s location. She found out about him by accident. The lawyer noted that the event her client accused of occurred in March 2014, while criminal proceedings were opened only in January 2015. Moreover, the investigative actions began only in November 2016, and for all this time the investigation find no significant evidence of the guilt of Dolzhenkov. Moreover Dolzhenkov and Mefyodov were only witnesses in the case.
The decisive argument for the court was the threat of fascists, who were in the courtroom. They said that if Dolzhenkov was released, they would “try him by Lynch’s court”, and the responsibility for that would lie with the judge. The lawyer of the accused only accidentally found out about the location of his client, while several dozen fascists without any problems came to the right place. This testifies to the conspiracy of the prosecutor’s office and the Ukrainian fascists in the fight against the freedom-loving people of Odessa.

Ukraine | The accused in the May 2 case are acquitted

Today, on September 18, the city court of Illichyovsk announced the verdict in the May 2 case. In the year of 2014 the Kiev regime accused their political opponents of organizing the riots in Odessa accompanied by the death of civilians. 19 people were under investigation for three years. Five of them spent all this time in pre-trial detention.
Today the court announced the verdict. Contrary to forecasts, the verdict was voiced in one day. In content, it became a verdict for the prosecutor’s office and investigators. The court consistently disassembled the prosecution’s arguments and showed its monstrous non-professionalism, political bias and irresponsibility.
First of all, the testimony of witnesses could not confirm the involvement of supporters of federalization in the organization of mass riots. Judges concluded that the key witness of the prosecution was dependent on the investigation. Therefore, he could stipulate the defendants, and his testimony may be unreliable.
Some of the evidence was found inadmissible. For example, it was the recognition of the accused Dolzhenkov on the part of the witness Posmichenko. During the identification, the investigator suggested that Pozmichenko point to the allegedly seen man among four photographs. On one of them was depicted Dolzhenkov, on the other two – famous Hollywood actors, and on the fourth – football player David Beckham. The court found this identification biased.
The court also found doubtful photo and video, shown as evidence. First, despite numerous demands, the prosecutor’s office did not provide the originals of the video, but only their edited versions. Secondly, on many videos one can not distinguish the faces of the persons depicted, and the prosecutor’s office could not prove that they were the accused men.
The protocols for the inspection of the incident scene are also recognized as inadmissible evidence, since they were drawn up by officials who did not have the authority to do so.
Further, the court noted that the examination of the bodies of the deceased was not carried out on the basis of the bodies examination results, but on certain medical documents drawn up by someone incomprehensible and on what grounds. Also, the court did not provide the results of the ballistic examination. No weapons were installed, from which the dead were fatally wounded, representatives of football fans were not questioned in court, law enforcement officers, although many of them were injured, were not represented as witnesses too. According to the judges, the investigation was not careful in the collection of evidence, so some of them could be lost.
Finally, the court found that the pretrial investigation was biased and dependent on the persons involved in the events. In particular, the judges point to the fact that supporter of the Kiev regime Khodiyak, who was accused of murdering supporters of federalization, stayed behind bars for two days, while supporters of federalization have been there for more than three years.
The court decision says of federalists: “There is not a single piece of evidence to support the prosecution. Moreover, the prosecution did not even try to prove the guilt.”
The court acquitted the accused due to lack of evidence of the charges and decided to release them in the courtroom.
However, the triumph of justice lasted no more than three minutes. Immediately after the announcement of the verdict, representatives of the prosecutor’s office and special services entered the courtroom. They expelled journalists and spectators from the courtroom. With closed doors, Dolzhenkov and Mefyodov were accused of separatism. They were again arrested.

Ukraine | Court starts announcement of the verdict in Odessa massacre case

Local media report that on September 18 the announcement of the court verdict in the case on May 2 will begin.
On May 2, 2014, the Ukrainian fascists crushed the tent camp of federalization supporters in Odessa. Escaping from the aggressive crowd, they took refuge in the House of Trade Unions. Fascists set fire to the building, and more than 40 people were killed. Adherents of the Kiev regime arrested 19 supporters of federalization and declared them responsible for the riots in the city. Five of the accused, including Sergei Dolzhenkov, whom the investigation considers their organizer, spent in custody almost three and a half years. Public activists in many countries round the world protested against the unilateral nature of the charges, but the Kiev regime did not bother.
Judges of four district courts of Odessa city refused to consider this case. Therefore, it passed to the city court of Illichyovsk, a city located near Odessa. On September 18, the court will begin to announce the verdict.
This was reported by the lawyers of the accused. Most likely, the announcement of the verdict will take several days.

Ukraine | Ukraine: Woman Detained, Held Incommunicado, Tortured

Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) arbitrarily detained a Ukrainian woman, held her incommunicado, and tortured her, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities charged the woman, Daria Mastikasheva, with treason, and a court in Dnipro has ordered her pretrial detention pending investigation.

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