Ukrainian Ombudsperson demands urgent meeting with Balukh

Ukrainian Ombudsperson demands urgent meeting with Balukh

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The Verkhovna Rada Commissioner for Human Rights, Lyudmyla Denisova, urgently demands to be allowed to visit the Ukrainian political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh
in the occupied Crimea. She wrote this on Facebook.

"I demand the immediate access to Volodymyr Balukh, I appeal to the Red Cross, which department is in Crimea, and I call on them to visit Volodymyr and provide him with qualified medical assistance!", Stressed the Ukrainian Ombudsman.

Balukh declared an unlimited hunger strike on March 19, 2018. Later he decided to go on a dry hunger strike.

We recall that in the occupied Crimea, Ukrainian Volodymyr Balukh received 3 years and 7 months of the colony-settlement on charges of allegedly illegal storage of ammunition. Human rights activists believe that he was repressed for pro-Ukrainian position, in particular for the flag of Ukraine, hanged in the courtyard of his house. Later, the court reduced the sentence for 2 months, excluding the point on the acquisition of ammunition from the charge.

Later, Balukh, protesting against the verdict, declared an indefinite hunger strike.

On April 2, the lawyer of Volodymyr Balukh Olga Dinze reported that the convict was illegally beaten by an escort after consideration of the appellate complaint. According to her, the administration of the pre-trial detention center refused Balukh to provide water on the grounds that he went on a hunger strike. Later, deputy chairman of the board of the Crimean Human Rights Group, Volodymyr Chikrigin, noted that doctors are not allowed to visit Balukh.

Later it was reported that because of a long hunger strike Balukh lost 30 kg in weight. June 15, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mariana Betza noted that Balukh is in a critical condition. At the same time, the court extended his arrest until 14 August.

According to Dinze, Balukh hopes that he will be exchanged and taken to mainland Ukraine.
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