Ihor Zavadsky remains in custody despite health concerns and doubts about the case



As reported the case of Ihor Zavadsky, a prize-winning accordion-player has given rise to sensational headlines, but also concern.  Mr Zavadsky was arrested on 23 March and remanded in custody in the Lukyanivsk SIZO [remand prison].  He is accused of corrupting minors. 

His case was publicized firstly in the documentary by TVi journalist Kostyantin Usov “Lukyanivka. Prison No. 1”.  This highlighted shocking corruption and abuse in Ukraine’s most prominent detention centre, but seemingly only one criminal investigation.  This is typically over the fact that Ihor Zavadsky had a mobile telephone by which he spoke with the journalist.  TVi has also presented a documentary suggesting that the young man may have been set up by a rival.

The case is of particular concern for other reasons as well.  An extraordinary information campaign was mounted following his arrest and there were also serious infringements of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Mr Zavadsky’s allegations that he was tortured by the police have not been investigated.

The Ombudsperson Valeria Lutkovska visited Mr Zavadsky on 7 May after which the SIZO organized a medical examination in a specialized clinic.

Reports suggest that Mr Zavadsky may have an eye condition causing blindness.  It is particularly disturbing therefore that the Kyiv Court of Appeal has now extended his detention for a further 4 months. 

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