On May 4, 2018, Russia-controlled Gagarynskyi District Court of Sevastopol sentenced Igor Movenko, charged with extremism, to 2 years in a penal colony.
According to the court, Ukrainian activist was charged on the grounds of part 2, Art. 280 of the Criminal Code of Russia (“public incitement to extremist activities”) for several comments written in the Crimea-Ukraine group of the social network VKontakte.
According to the lawyer Oksana Zheleznyak, in Russia such charges only result in probation, and even the state prosecutor requested it, but the court decided on deprivation of liberty.
On September 9, 2016, a video appeared of Sevastopol citizen I. Movenko’s beating. According to his wife, Mr. Movenko was beaten for the symbol of the Ukrainian battalion “Azov” on his bike. There was no investigation into this incident. Instead, the beaten Mr. Movenko was fined for 2,000 rubles “for spreading Nazi symbols”.
In December of the same year, Mr. Movenko was arrested and brought to the office of Russia’s Federal Security Service, and then charged with perpetrating extremist activities on the social network.
On March 21, 2018, the prosecutor requested that the activist be given two years of probation and banned from public activities, and that the computer Igor used to write comments in the Crimea-Ukraine group on VKontakte website be destroyed.
Despite the protest already voiced on behalf of the Diplomatic Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by spokesperson Maryana Betsa, the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union calls on the government to take more decisive action at the bilateral and international level to have the bogus conviction of Igor Movenko revoked and to have him released immediately from the Sevastopol detention facility.
UHHRU also appeals to Ukraine’s international partners to continue put pressure on Russia to stop the political persecutions of Ukrainian activists aimed at influencing the geopolitical situation in the region and Ukraine as a whole.
Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union