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Classifying Zabily’s case as secret restricts his right to defence


Volodymyr Yavorsky, Executive Director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, considers that making historian Zabily’s case “top secret” is an attempt to restrict his right to defence and to avoid public scrutiny.

“Such classifying as secret is unknown in democratic countries and it was only the KGB that worked in that way. In democratic countries criminal proceedings must be open”, Yavorsky stressed. He explained that it would restrict Zabily’s right to defence since the latter would need a lawyer with access to state secrets, this making it a violation of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. He says that the stamp has obviously been used to restrict public scrutiny over the case.

It was learned on Thursday that the case of historian Ruslan Zabily had been classified as a state secret.

On 8 September in Kyiv the Director of the National Memorial Museum of Victims of the Occupation Regimes “Tyurma na Lonskoho” (Lviv), Ruslan Zabily was detained for 14 and a half hours by the Security Services [SBU].  The SBU officers unlawfully, without any court sanction, and with numerous infringements of the law, removed a laptop and two external hard memory drives.  As well as the historian’s own academic work, the hard drives also contained copies of historical material and archival documents.

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