Children ask to release their father


On the International Day of children protection the wife and five children of the convicted Crimean journalist Sergey Potamanov picketed the buildings of Crimean government, parliament and prosecutor’s office, demanding to release their husband and father, whom they believe to be a political prisoner.

Lubov Tishchenko, the wife of journalist Sergey Potamanov condemned in December 2000, told that she chose 1 June for picketing on purpose. She said that five underage children ‘is a weighty argument serving to attract the attention of the world public to the lot of their father, the editor of the district radio station ‘Feniks’, on the Day of children protection’.

L. Tishchenko regards that her husband ‘is a political prisoner, since this was the only reason why he was persecuted’. ‘He did not kill and he did not steal, he only stood in the way of the authorities of the Leninskiy district’, said L. Tishchenko. In the complaints that she passed to the Supreme Rada of the Crimea, to Council of Ministers of the Crimea and to the prosecutor’s office of the Crimea she asked ‘to assist in returning the unjustly incarcerated father to his children’. Leonid Grach, the speaker of the Crimean parliament promised ‘to clear up the matter and to help’. A member of the staff of the prosecutor’s office, who did not give his name, also promised to help.

As the Committee of monitoring the freedom of the press in the Crimea, Sergey Potamanov, in his appeal passed from the prison in the beginning of May, declared that he did not consider himself guilty and would continue to fight for his freedom. Last December Kerch town court found him guilty according to 4 articles of the Criminal Code. He was blamed of hooliganism, destruction and theft of state property and of storage of ammunition. Sergey Potamanov calls the accusations a revenge for his journalist and human rights protecting activities. This April he handed a complaint to the European Court of human rights.

Simferopol, 1 June 2001

The press release prepared by the Committee of monitoring the freedom of the press in the Crimea

at the Crimean Center of independent political investigators and journalists,

tel. (065-2) 27-69-65, e-mail

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