“Everything is being done to kill Lutsenko”


The head of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union Board, Yevhen Zakharov has warned that the life of Yury Lutsenko, former Minister of Internal Affairs would be in danger in any penal colony.

“The former minister cannot be in a normal colony where ordinary criminals are serving sentences. In the Mensk Colony in the Chernihiv region they can’t hold Lutsenko either since there are a lot of people who were imprisoned there through Lutsenko’s efforts at trying to eradicate torture in the police force. For the moment he will remain in the SIZO [remand unit] while the court ruling has not come into force and the appeal is being heard. What then is not clear”.

Zakharov says that at present everything is being done to kill the former minister. “If there have been cases of killings in this colony, they’ve said that  the people had health problems. Such things are not investigated. I have known of deaths in penal institutions when prisoners were killed, and they said that they’d died because of their state of health”.

The First Deputy Head of the State Penitentiary Service Serhiy Sydorenko has stated that if the sentence passed by the Pechersky District Court on Monday comes into force, Yury Lutsenko will serve the sentence in the Mensk Colony in the Chernihiv region

Lawyers are planning the appeal at present.

Lutsenko’s conviction on Monday has been widely condemned by governments, European structures and human rights organizations as politically motivated and aimed at removing the opposition leader from the coming elections. 

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