Crimean political prisoner Kolchenko is forced to get Russian citizenship

Alexander Kolchenko Alexander Kolchenko

A citizen of Ukraine Crimean Alexander Kolchenko, imprisoned in a correctional colony in Chelyabinsk (Russia), is forced to take Russian citizenship.

This was reported by Members of the public monitoring committee Nikolay and Tatiana Schur, visited Kolchenko in the colony.

“Sasha looks like feeling calm and normal. The Ukrainian Consul is not allowed to see him, arguing that Kolchenko is a citizen of Russia, although he has only his Ukrainian passport. He does not conflict the high-ups of the colony and always calmly says that he will sign all the documents only after consultation with his lawyer,” said Tatsyana Schur.

“He was recently brought “his” Russian passport, where he must put his signature, and he was offered to sign, but sure Sasha refused to. Then he was invited to write a renunciation of nationality (Russian – ed.), but also he refused, because this would mean that he admitted his Russian citizenship but refused to,” added Nikolay Schur.

According to the human rights defenders, Kolchenko’s lawyer Svetlana Sidorkina is going to visit his client the next week.

As a reminder, the North Caucasus Military District Court of Russia sentenced the Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and the activist Alexander Kolchenko to 20 and 10 years of imprisonment respectively on charges of terrorism in August 2015. Both the Ukrainians plead not guilty.

Human rights activists declared them political prisoners.

Also according to the Russian Ombudsman Ella Pamfilova’s report, published in March 23, 2016, Crimeans Sentsov and Kolchenko are Ukrainian citizens.

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