Ukrainian journalist with refugee status arrested in Holland


Ukrainian journalist Anatoly Shariy, who was granted political asylum in Lithuania last year, was on Wednesday arrested in Holland.

The information came from his wife Olha Bondarenko who wrote that the court hearing is tomorrow, and that they want to send him back to Ukraine, presumably meaning the Ukrainian authorities.

In March 2012, the Kyiv journalist asked for political asylum in Lithuania, asserting that he was facing persecution by law enforcement bodies in Ukraine in connection with his journalist work.

He told journalists then that he was facing two criminal prosecutions in Ukraine. One involved an incident in McDonalds when, according to him, a man attacked his wife and he shot at him from a gun with rubber bullets.  He was facing charges under the article on hooliganism (linked with the use of a firearm). Mr Shariy asserts that at the time of the actual incident, the police had decided that there was no need to initiate a criminal investigation. The decision to do so, he says, came a month later from the Deputy Minister of the Interior. The second criminal case dates from October 2011.  He is charged with having deliberately given a false report about a crime and manufactured evidence. The police accused him of fabricating an attack upon himself on 13 July.

Anatoly Shariy maintained that the criminal prosecutions were because he had published material critical of the police.

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