Lutsenko: Visits not allowed, so birthday greetings on banners


On Wednesday, friends of the former Minister of Internal Affairs and opposition politician Yury Lutsenko prepared a surprise for his 47th birthday which he is spending in detention on charges of abuse of office.  They hung a huge banner with his picture and the words: “Fight and you’ll win”. 

Journalist Mustafa Nayem informed on his Facebook, page that the banner, 8 x 15 m. was being held by majors and colonels from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Mr Lutsenko’s colleagues and friends were not allowed to visit him in the SIZO where he has been held now for almost a year.  His wife, who visited him first with his lawyers earlier in the day and then with their two sons, spoke of a birthday with painkillers.  As reported months ago, doctors twice recommended Yury Lutsenko received hospital care.  This has not happened.  It was reported on Wednesday evening that a group of doctors was again to examine him.

Yury Lutsenko was arrested in late December by 11 Special Force Alfa officers when walking his dog.  The criminal investigation had been initiated in November and Lutsenko had given a signed undertaking not to leave his place of residence.  He did not do so and any reasons given for his remand in custody were seriously questionable.  There is also grave concern, both within Ukraine and from the democratic community, regarding the charges against him. An analysis of these can be found in the second report by the Danish Helsinki Committee of Human Rights

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