Activists wish political prisoner Kolchenko happy birthday

Ukrainian activist Oleksandr Kolchenko, imprisoned for “terrorism” in Russia, turns 26 years old today.

Writers, musicians, artists, activists, journalists, and human rights defenders congratulated Kolchenko on his birthday in the video.

"My son was also born on November 26. And because of this I feel a strong bond that has appeared due to your story. I imagine if my son was in your place ... In this regard, I have a strong empathy with you and your situation so I would like to convey ardent mother’s feelings to you. Cheer up!" Polish artist, feminist Alicja Zebrovska said.

Social scientist Tamara Zlobina wished Oleksandr speedy return home.

"You once visited my lecture in Crimea. And I would like to tell you that the human intellect and the human personality are wonderful. I wish you intellectual development wherever you are," Tamara Zlobina wished.

"It is difficult to believe in this tragic story. It is difficult to believe that active, young, talented people are forced to spend their youth, their most productive age in the Kremlin dungeons in the 21st century. I have never thought that we will come back to the events I have read about in the books of dissidents. Now I am reading the poems by Stus and realize that you probably feel the same. But on the other hand, you, Oleg, Gennady, and all the rest are a very important incentive for us not to give up, not to cry too much, but work better and make every effort to free you," journalist and Euromaidan SOS activist Maria Tomak said.

Crimean Field Mission human rights activist Olha Skrypnyk believes she will see Oleksandr Kolchenko soon.

"Oleksandr, we are from Yalta, light and warm city. And we want to give you the same light and warm regards. I know that we'll soon meet at the Simferopol railway station and we together will meet our friends, who will be coming to us from all over Ukraine and stay in our wonderful Crimea. We will show them the beautiful places of Crimea, drink wine with them, and see them off to other cities," Olha Skrypnyk said.

"You resist a sort of Orwell state, and I want you to know that we all remember and love you," writer Artem Chapai reminded.

PACE delegate Nadiya Savchenko, being currently held in Russia, also congratulated Oleksandr Kolchenko.

As reported, in May 2014, anti-fascist activist Oleksandr Kolchenko was detained in Crimea by the Russian special services. Around May 20, Kolchenko, director Oleg Sentsov, and two other detainees were transferred to Moscow’s Lefortovo remand prison. The Federal Security Service of Russia claimed that the detainees were "the members of the Right Sector subversive and terrorist group." According to the investigators, the group intended to commit terrorist acts in Simferopol, Sevastopol, and Yalta and destroy infrastructure. The detainees and their lawyers believe the accusations are absurd and politically motivated.

August 25, Oleg Sentsov and Oleksandr Kolchenko were sentenced to 20 and 10 years in colony respectively. Alexey Chirniy and Gennady Afanasyev were earlier sentenced in the case of "Crimean terrorists.” All of them say they have been tortured.

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