To the Governments of
EU member countries, Switzerland, Norway,
Montenegro, Iceland, Albania, Liechtenstein,
USA, Canada, Australia and Japan
President and Government of Ukraine
On July 13, 2018, in violation of human rights standards and international humanitarian law, the “Supreme Court” in occupied Crimea convicted Yevhen Panov, Ukrainian citizen, participant of the action aimed at the protection of the territorial integrity of Ukraine in the east, and volunteer. Judge Andriy Paliy (citizen of the Russian Federation and former judge of the Leningrad District Court of Kaliningrad) sentenced him to eight years in a strict regime colony.
During Russia’s occupation of Crimea, at least 13 Ukrainian citizens have been deprived of their liberty in the “cases of Ukrainian saboteurs”, as part of which Russia’s Federal Security Service detained and charged with “organizing of sabotage and espionage”: Yevhen Panov, Andriy Zakhtey, Redvan Suleymanov, Volodymyr Prysych, Volodymyr Dudka, Dmytro Shtyblikov, Oleksiy Bessarabov, Gleb Shabliy, Oleksiy Stogniy, Gennadiy Limeshko, Hanna Sukhonosova, Dmytro Dovgopolov, Kostiantyn Davydenko.
In these cases, human rights defenders confirm unlawful investigation methods and use of torture and ill-treatment, specifically in the form of physical and psychological pressure used on people for the purpose of obtaining confessions. Thus, after his detention in Crimea by the occupying authorities, Yevhen Panov had been subjected to torture for three days, yet Russian authorities refused to investigate these circumstances. Each of the Ukrainian citizens on this list had been deprived of the right to liberty, personal safety and fair trial.
Yevhen Panov’s representatives observed numerous violations during the investigation in Crimea, meant to falsify evidence against their client. However, the inadmissible evidence obtained by the prosecutor still led to the conviction of Panov by the court of the occupying authorities.
Yevhen Panov’s trial and numerous other fabricated cases against Ukrainian citizens in occupied Crimea are politically motivated; the occupying authorities initiate trials, falsify evidence and pass sentences in order to turn Ukrainian citizens into the face of the enemy. Furthermore, these trials bear evidence of gross violations of human rights and war crimes committed by the Russian Federation in the territory of the temporarily occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
We address the Governments of the EU member states, Switzerland, Norway, Montenegro, Iceland, Albania, Liechtenstein, USA, Canada, Australia and Japan, requesting:
- to involve all available political and diplomatic mechanisms to liberate Ukrainian citizen Yevhen Panov;
- to impose personal sanctions on persons involved in the persecution of Ukrainian citizen Yevhen Panov, political prisoner and Kremlin’s captive;
- to strengthen sectoral sanctions against the Russian Federation for brutal and systemic violation of human rights and war crimes in Russia-occupied Crimea.
We address the Government of Ukraine, demanding:
- to use every opportunity to liberate Ukrainian citizen Yevhen Panov, who has been unlawfully detained and kept in occupied Crimea;
- to conduct a thorough investigation into the persecution of Ukrainian citizen Yevhen Panov with subsequent prosecution of those responsible for violations of human rights and international humanitarian law;
- to include Russian citizens involved in the persecution of Ukrainian citizen Yevhen Panov in national sanctions lists of human rights violators;
- to support Yevhen Panov’s family, as well as the families of all political prisoners unlawfully detained by the Russian Federation since 2014;
- to introduce effective legal and political mechanisms for the release and transfer of Ukrainian political prisoners to Ukraine-controlled territory.
Olga Skrypnyk, Crimean Human Rights Group
Oleksandr Pavlichenko, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union
Tetyana Pechonchyk, Human Rights Information Center