6 February 2017
Russian officials have again refused to transfer the defendants in the Crimea case, Oleg Sentsov and Aleksandr Kolchenko, to Ukraine. Memorial Human Rights Centre has declared them political prisoners.
According to OVD-Info, the Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine, Sergei Petukhov wrote about this on his Facebook page on February 6.
In the post, he attached a photograph of the document from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which it said that Russia considers Sentsov and Kolchenko citizens of the Russian Federation, and that there is no agreement between Ukraine and Russia on dual citizenship and no mechanism for the transfer of prisoners.
In October 2016, Ukraine had already received a similar response from Russia on the request for the transfer of Kolchenko and Sentsov. According to Russian authorities, “A. A. Kolchenko obtained Russian citizenship in accordance with the law ‘On the Accession of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation and the Formation of New Subjects – the Republic of Crimea and the Federal City of Sevastopol.” The bottom line is that Kolchenko and Sentsov did not refuse in writing the automatic granting of Russian citizenship to all inhabitants of Crimea in 2014.
On August 25 2015, Oleg Sentsov and Aleksandr Kolchenko were sentenced to 20 and 10 years respectively in a strict regime penal colony for alleged terrorist activities through setting fire to the doors of the United Russia office in Crimea and also for allegedly preparing terrorist acts and unlawful trafficking of explosives.
Oleg Sentsov and Aleksandr Kolchenko have been declared political prisoners by Memorial Human Rights Centre (Moscow).
FAQs from Memorial Human Rights Centre on the Sentsov-Kolchenko case
Translated by Nathalie Corbett
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