President’s Secretariat sees no problem in extraditing a refugee


A reply has been received from the President’s Secretariat to the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union’s letter regarding the extradition to the Russian Federation on 28 July of Oleg Kuznetsov, who had been granted refugee status in Ukraine in March this year.

Even if the letter never reached the President, it is disturbing that he should have a Head of his Secretariat (and it is Viktor Baloha’s name at the bottom of this letter) who can state that “According to information from the Prosecutor General’s Office, the extradition of O. Kuznetsov was carried out on lawful grounds”.  The problem is not even the fact that given the material presented by UHHRU, he should still think it sufficient to say that the Prosecutor General says that all is well.  It is that the details of this case are in fact secondary.  The situation is unequivocally clear: Kuznetsov had been granted refugee status, and it is against domestic and international law to extradite a recognized refugee.

Mr Baloha’s letter also states that a Prosecutor General can only be dismissed with the consent of the Verkhovna Rada.  This does not prevent the President from recognizing the damage done Ukrainians’ faith in the present Prosecutor General who also flouted a court ruling rejecting his appeal against Kuznetsov’s refugee status and Ukraine’s reputation in the world.

Sample letters, with addresses, can be found here 

We must repeat that while officials are allowed to show contempt for the law and Ukraine’s international commitments with impunity, such outrages will continue.

From information at

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