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15.08.2016 | Halya Coynash

Send a Sunflower for Independence Day to Russia’s Ukrainian Hostages

   

Ukraine is celebrating 25 years of Independence on August 24.  The anniversary is poignant for so many reasons, but must be particularly painful for those Ukrainian political prisoners held in Russia or Russian-occupied Crimea.  Many, like Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and civic activist Oleksandr Kolchenko have been deliberately isolated and sent to the farthest corners of Russia.

It seems likely that direct cards, symbols etc. would not get through, but how can you block a sunflower?!   

Send them a breath of Ukraine and the important message that they are not forgotten.  It is vital for them to feel our support, and to show Moscow that however far they hide their hostages, we will not stop demanding their release.

The following list does not include the large, and increasing, number of Ukrainians held on trumped up charges in Russian-occupied Crimea.  In their cases, it is only possible at present to send letters to them via the Crimean Tatar Mejlis [representative assembly].  That address is given at the top of the list of prisoners in Crimea.  Because of Russia’s effective information blockade, very little gets reported about their cases.  Please take this opportunity to let their names be heard and to urge politicians and journalists in your country to speak out for them

Greetings or whole letters must be in Russian and should not contain anything ‘political’, critical of the regime or that could in any other way simply harm the hostages or stop the sunflowers and letters going through.

If this is a problem, the following would be fine.

Поздравляю с праздником! 

Мы о Вас помним и надеемся на Ваше скорейшее возвращение.

The first line greets them with the festive occasion, without specifying which (increasing the chances that the letter will get through).  You are not forgotten and we hope you will soon be back.

Oleg Sentsov, Oleksandr Kolchenko and Oleksiy Chirniy

The trial of renowned filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and civic activist Oleksandr Kolchenko was condemned by Russian writers, artists and human rights defenders as “ideologically motivated state terror”.  They and two other opponents of Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea - Oleksiy Chirniy and Gennady Afanasyev (recently exchanged) were arrested in May 2014.

Despite the clear use of torture and lack of any evidence, Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years, Kolchenko – 10.  Chirniy is serving a 7-year sentence based on a ‘confession’ tortured out of him and charges which were in breach of Russia’s criminal code.  

Here and below, please press the hyperlinks on the names for more information.  There are also details here:  Oppose Russian Occupation of Crimea & Face 20 Years for ’Terrorism’

Just cut and paste the addresses with the men’s name and year of birth .

Letters to Oleg Sentsov

677004,  Республика Саха (Якутия), г. Якутск, ул. Очиченко, 25, ФКУ ИК-1

Сенцову Олегу Геннадьевичу, 1976 г.р.

Letters to Oleksandr Kolchenko

(please enclose light-weight paper and an envelope, so that he can reply)

Россия 456612, Челябинская обл., Копейск, ул. Кемеровская, 20.,

Кольченко Александру Олександровичу, 1989 г.р.

Oleksiy Chirniy  was recently taken to Moscow.  Please send sunflowers and message to post.rosuznik[at]gmail.com.  This is a civic initiative for helping political prisoners and they will pass the letter on.  Just add:

Чирнию Алексею Владимировичу, 1981 г.р. 

Stanislav Klykh and Mykola Karpyuk

There are very real fears for Klykh at the moment, and he urgently needs support and publicity as pressure on Russia to release him.  Both men were held incommunicado and tortured for very long periods (10 months in Klykh’s case, well over a year in Karpyuk’s).  The charges against them were demonstrably absurd yet Karpyuk was sentenced to 22.5 years, Klykh to 20.

Letters to Stanislav Klykh

364037, г. Грозный, Ленинский р-он, ул. Кунта-Хаджи Кишиева, 2. Следственный изолятор №1,  

Клыху, Станиславу (1974)

Letters to Mykola Karpyuk (in Russian Nikolai)

364037, г. Грозный, Ленинский р-он, ул. Кунта-Хаджи Кишиева, 2.  Следственный изолятор №1,

Карпюку, Николаю (1964)

Valentin Vyhivsky

The 33-year-old Ukrainian was abducted to Russia from Crimea in September 2014 and held incommunicado for many months, during which he was beaten and tortured, and twice subjected to mock executions.  His ‘trial’ for supposed spying was held in total secrecy, with his ‘lawyer’ a person provided by the FSB who almost certainly worked for his employers rather than representing Vyhivsky.  The appeal against his 11-year sentence was also held behind closed doors. 

Address

Россия, 613040, пос. Утробино, Кировская обл., ИК-11 УФСИН России по Кировской области  

Выговскому, Валентину Петровичу 

Serhiy Lytvynov

The 33-year-old Luhansk oblast resident has been held in Russian detention since August 2014 and was initially tortured to extract ‘confessions’ to fictitious war crimes.  His lawyer was able to prove that the crimes could not have taken place as the people and their addresses were fictitious.  Russia was forced to back down on its ‘war crimes’ allegations, but having held Lytvynov in custody for a year, it came up with new criminal charges which were openly absurd.  Despite these also being demolished in court, Lytvynov was sentenced to 8.5 years’ imprisonment.

Address

346408, Ростовская область, г. Новочеркасск, ул. Украинская, д.1, ФКУ СИЗО-3 ГУФСИН России по Ростовской области

Литвинову Сергею Николаевичу, 1983 г. р.

Oleksandr Kostenko

The former Euromaidan activist was sentenced by a Russian-occupied Crimean court to 4 years’ imprisonment over an unprovable offence which allegedly took place during Euromaidan in Kyiv, well before Russia invaded and annexed Crimea.  The court ignored the evidence that his first ‘confession’ had been tortured out of him, and flagrant infringements of procedure from the moment of his arrest.  Subsequent appeals have slightly reduced the sentence which now stands at 3 and a half years.  He has been in custody since Feb 5, 2015.

Address

ФКУ ИК-5, ул. Овражная 16, г. Кирово-Чепецк, Кировская область,  613049 Россия) 

Костенко Александру Федоровичу   

The list is not quite complete, however Khaiser Dzhemiliev should, unless Russia resorts to some new violation, be released shortly, and Viktor Shur can only be written to via rosuznik[at]gmail.com

Four Crimeans from Sevastopol are currently on ‘trial’ in Rostov.  Attention is urgently needed to this case, and letters with sunflowers to the men will show Russia that they are being watched.

Short details about this conveyor belt of repression in which Russia is holding 14 men (so far) in custody can be found here:

Terror on a Conveyor Belt in Russian-occupied Crimea

Ruslan Zeitullayev

344010, Россия, Ростов-на-Дону, ул. Максима Горького, 219 СИЗО-1.

Зейтуллаеву, Руслану Борисовичу, 1985 г.р.

Ferat Saifullayev

344010, Россия, Ростов-на-Дону, ул. Максима Горького, 219 СИЗО-1.

Сайфуллаеву, Ферату Рефатовичу, 1983 г. р.

Rustem Vaitov

344010, Россия, г. Ростов-на-Дону, ул. Максима Горького, 219 СИЗО-1

Ваитову Рустему Мамутовичу, 1986 г. р.

Nuri Primov

344010, Россия, Ростов-на-Дону, ул. Максима Горького, 219 СИЗО-1.

Примову, Нури Владимировичу

Arrested in 2016, now in custody

Human Rights activist Emir-Huseyn Kuku

Muslim Aliev, Envir Bekirov and Vadim Siruk

Arsen Dzhepparov and Refat Alimov

Enver Mamutov, Rustem Abiltarov, Remzi Memetov and Zevri Abseitov

Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, Akhtem Chiygoz

Ali Asanov

Mustafa Degermendzhy

Andriy Kolomiyets

It is unfortunately likely that this list must be extended. 

For the moment, where no address is given, letters / sunflowers can be sent to the representative office of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis in Kyiv (writing the name of the person as above (though the messages will need to be in Russian since the Mejlis will try to get them delivered).

Представительство Меджлиса крымскотатарского народа в Киеве - 01014, Киев, ул. Седовцев, 22/14

(Ukraine,  Predstavitel’stvo Medzhlisa krymskotatarskogo naroda v Kieve – 01014, Kiev, ul. Sedovtsev, 22/14)

    

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