Prosecutor finds no crime in death of Donetsk hunger striker Gennady Konoplyov
The Donetsk Regional Prosecutor Vladmir Vyshynsky stated at a press conference on 8 December that no cause and effect link between the actions of the MIA, Emergencies Ministry or doctors and the death of Gennady Konoplyov has been found.
Gennady Konoplyov, a retired miner, was taking part in the hunger strike protest by Chornobyl clean-up workers demanding payment in full of their pensions. He died on Sunday evening, 27 November, minutes after police and Emergencies Ministry officers stormed the tent he and the other protesters were in and brought the tent down on top of them.
The Prosecutor stated that in the course of their check, members of the protest, police and Emergencies Ministry workers and doctors had been questioned. “In the absence of elements of a crime, on 7 December the investigation department decided not to initiate a criminal investigation”.
He asserted that the decision had been made on objective grounds. There were no signs of physical force on Mr Konoplyov’s body, nor of poisoning from the fumes (officers first burst into the tent and poured water over the gas burner – translator). The video footage had also shown that Mr Konoplyov did not die in the tent itself.
Vysyynsky said that Mr Konoplyov had died of coronary artery disease with ischemic damage to the myocardium which had developed against a background of chronic ischemic disease.
He also asserted that there had been no criminal actions and said that the decision to dismantle the tent had been lawful. He added that the Emergencies Ministry officers could dismantle the tent in the absence of court bailiffs.
The Prosecutor’s conclusions are at variance with those of the Working Group delegated by the Public Council attached to the MIA. These indicate the need for a thorough investigation and find that there were no grounds for banning the entirely peaceful protest and were a number of infringements on the Sunday evening (see http://www.khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1323215169)