Court in occupied Crimea sentences pro-Ukrainian Crimean resident to correctional labor

So-called judge of the Razdolnensky District Court in the occupied Crimea Maria Bedritska sentenced citizen of Ukraine Volodymyr Balukh to 320 hours of correctional labor. June 10, 2016, she found him guilty for violating Article 319 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (insulting a government official).

This is reported by the Crimean Human Rights Group, citing a copy of the judgment.

The human rights activists report that the police officers came to the house, where Volodymyr Balukh was residing, on November 14, 2015 to conduct a search on the basis of the decision of so-called judge of the of the Razdolnensky District Court Aleksandr Abeliashev.

A person, interrogated as a witness in a criminal case, indicated that Volodymyr Balukh allegedly "keeps at home a VAZ-2106 vehicle, stolen on October 10, 2015 in the village of Razdolnoe, dismantles it and sells pieces."

"As a result of search for the vehicle, as ordered by judge Aleksandr Abeliashev, Volodymyr Balukh is subjected to administrative detention for 10 days. He was found guilty under Part 1 of Article 19.3 of the Administrative Code (disobedience to lawful order or requirement of a police officer)," the human rights defenders said.

As Hromadske.Crimea portal reports, Balukh was found guilty because he had sworn at the police officer Yevgeniy Baranov.

In turn, Volodymyr Balukh argues that police paid attention to him because of his pro-Ukrainian stance, which he expressed publicly as the national flag of Ukraine had been hoisted on the flagpole in the territory of his house. Volodymyr also believes he was taken into administrative detention so that he could not register the marks of beatings, inflicted to him by the police officers during the arrest. Staying in a ward, he repeatedly demanded provision of medical treatment and was refused.

The Crimean Human Rights Group experts point out that "the case of Balukh" testifies to the biased attitude of so-called judges towards people with pro-Ukrainian position in Crimea. The rights of Volodymyr Balukh to liberty and security of person, fair trial, no punishment without law, respect for private and family life, freedom of expression, effective remedy were violated.

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