Human Rights

The Supreme Court of Crimea left activist Balukh under arrest

The Supreme Court of Crimea left activist Balukh under arrest

Today, the Supreme Court of Crimea dismissed the complaint on the extension of the measure of restraint applied to Ukrainian activist Volodymyr Balukh, who is accused by occupation authorities for storing ammunition and for his pro-Ukrainian political position.

Volodymyr Balukh

As reported by reporter of the Human Rights Information Centre, the complaint was filed by Ukrainian’s lawyer Dmytro Dinze.

In court, lawyers gave ten reasons why Balukh’s further detention is unacceptable.

Among them, in particular, the lack of arguments on the part of the prosecution regarding the grounds for detention, the near completion of the arrest for medium-sized cases, the apparent interest of the first instance judge in the outcome of the case, which was expressed in the unauthorized decision to extend the preventive measure, as well as practically confirming information that Balukh has stable social ties in Crimea.

The defendant Balukh himself once again drew attention to the obvious fact that his case was politically commissioned and the artificiality of the assumptions about his social instability.

During the court hearing Volodymyr Balukh was in cage, the fact of which contradicts the European practice of legal proceedings.

Despite the arguments of the defense about the lack of evidence, the prosecution representative voiced the standard wording that there were no new circumstances for the revision of the measure of restraint. The prosecutor has not voiced any arguments supporting this statement.

After listening to the parties, Judge Konstantin Karavayev came to the conclusion that Balukh should remain under arrest.

As a reminder, On December 8, 2016, FSB conducted searches in the house of Ukrainian activist Volodymyr Balukh and his mother in the village of Serebryanka, Razdolnensky district of Crimea. Volodymyr Balukh was detained after the searches. Law enforcers claimed that they have found ammunition and several TNT blocks were found in the attic.

On December 12 Razdolnensky District Court of Crimea has chosen a measure of restraint for Balukh in the form of detention for a month. The court disregarded the fact that the procedural documents were drafted with significant violations.

On March 2, it became known that the court extended the arrest of Balukh until June 4, 2017.

The persecution of Balukh has been going on since the spring of 2015 and the mass media reported about the trial against the activist since early 2016.

In December 2013, with the beginning of the Maidan, Volodymyr hung the Ukrainian flag on the roof of his house, which remained there after the occupation of Crimea by Russia. He openly declared his refusal to recognize the annexation.

At the same time, the court reviewed and changed the period of detention from September 4 to August 21, which has already been done earlier during the consideration of the appeal of the defendant’s second lawyer. The rest of the complaint was left without satisfaction.