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25.06.2010

Another old criminal case resurrected against human rights activist

   

The Head of the Crimean branch of YUZER – the Ukrainian Organization for the Disabled and Users of Psychiatric Care, Andrei Fedosov, has been detained by police officers in the Vinnytsa region. This was reported by the Centre for Journalist Investigations, citing Andrei himself who apparently rang them while being taken to the police station in his home town which he was visiting for a few days.

Andrei Fedosov said that police officers had arrived at his home at 7 a.m. with an order to bring him by force for questioning over a criminal investigation launched back in 2000. He said the case was over a theft which he was not implicated in which was proven in court. He explains that he was 15 then, and in hospital care. “The case was closed, but now for some reason they’ve again remembered about it.”

Apparently he was informed in the police station that since 2000 he had been under a signed undertaking not to leave which he had violated.

Andrei Fedosov is convinced that the detention is unwarranted and especially absurd given that his active civic activities mean that he is always in the public eye. He adds that he never received any summons and he is hearing of the written undertaking for the first time.

He believes that he is being persecuted over his civic activities, specifically the results of monitoring of conditions in psychiatric institutions in the Crimea.

As reported, in May this year, Human Rights Watch sent a letter to the Prosecutor General over threats against Andrei Fedosov.

“Human Rights Watch is seriously concerned about recent reports of threats against disability activist, Andrey Fedosov, which appear to have been made in retaliation for his efforts to document living conditions at several psychiatric institutions in the Crimea.  This is all the more concerning given that the poor living conditions at institutions that Mr. Fedosov has documented are very serious and merit urgent attention. We urge you to take steps to investigate both the threats against Mr. Fedosov and the conditions in psychiatric institutions in the Crimea, particularly in light of Ukraine’s recent ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)”. The letter can be read at the link below or at http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/05/05/letter-prosecutor-general-ukraine-re-andrey-fedosov  

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