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07.03.2011

File on those accusing of damaging Stalin monument passed to the court

   

The Prosecutor’s office reports that it has passed the case against members of nationalist organizations suspected of damaging the bust of Stalin erected in Zaporizhya to the court.  9 members of “Tryzub” and VO Svoboda are accused of “deliberately causing damage to property of the Zaporizhya obkom [regional committee] of the Ukrainian Communist Party”.

All the accused have been held on remand in the Zaporizhya SIZO [pre-trial remand centre] although he Prosecutor’s office states that the preventive measure in one of the young men’s case has been changed to a signed undertaking not to abscond due to his state of health and the conclusion of the criminal investigation.

The highly controversial monument was erected on 5 May 2010 on the territory of the Zaporizhya Communist Party obkom. 

On 28 December the bust was decapitated, then on 31 December an explosion took place which totally destroyed the monument.  Nobody has been arrested for the explosion, the 9 detained are accused of the act which damaged the monument.

According to Tryzub, one of its activists, Pylyp Taran has been tortured in the SIZO. The Prosecutor rejects these allegations.

The Mayor of Zaporizhya, Oleksandr Sin had stated that the monument to Stalin was illegal since it had not initially been entered in the architectural plan of the Zaporizhya CPU obkom. He says that if another monument is erected near the CPU building, it will be removed.

Human rights organizations accuse the authorities of political persecution over these, as well as other, prosecutions.  This they also deny.

New information from a report on the BBC Ukrainian Service

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