Russia refuses to return Crimean political prisoner Kolchenko back to Ukraine

Alexander Kolchenko Alexander Kolchenko

The Ministry of Justice of Russia has refused to transfer political prisoner and activist from Crimea Oleksandr Kolchenko to serve his sentence in Ukraine.

This was announced by Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine Serhiy Petukhov. Russia considers Kolchenko, as well as filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, Russian citizen, in spite of Russia’s recognition of Kolchenko’s Ukrainian citizenship in March 2016.

Earlier, the Ministry of Justice of Russia refused to transfer another one political prisoner from Crimean and filmmaker Oleg Sentsov.

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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