On the abduction of Leonid Razvozzhaev (open for endorsement)
The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union is disturbed by information regarding the abduction of Leonid Razvozzhaev in Kyiv on 19 October 2012. From the many reports in the media, including an interview with Mr Razvozzhaev, one can conclude that the Russian Federation’s Security Service was involved in his abduction and in taking him to Moscow.
Publicly available information does not enable an unequivocal conclusion about the role of the Ukrainian authorities in this abduction.
Regardless of whether the abduction was with the assistance of Ukrainian agencies or was the result of the relevant agencies’ inability to prevent the activities of foreign agents on Ukrainian territory, this case serves to confirm the deep crisis in the organization of activities by the authorities responsible for safeguarding Ukraine’s sovereignty. It is a worrying indication that the authorities are incapable of ensuring security and legal order in Ukraine.
It should be noted that this is not the first case where a person has been abducted while on Ukrainian territory. At the beginning of 2011 Palestinian engineer Abu Sisi was abducted from Ukrainian soil and soon turned up in an Israeli prison. The circumstances behind that case were never satisfactorily explained by the authorities.
Ukraine’s state bodies also on occasion demonstrate contempt for generally accepted international norms regarding protection of asylum seekers in Ukraine. The recent case where Magomed Nalgiyev who had been given asylum in Finland was sent back to the Russian Federation is one of the flagrant examples of questionable cooperation with the RF enforcement agencies taking precedence over international law. The passing to the Kazakhstan enforcement agencies of confidential information from the Baisakovs’ refugee documents is also in this league. A number of these shameful events demonstrate the lack of sufficient competence from the heads of Ukraine’s enforcement agencies which would enable them to maintain the level of security in the country at an appropriate level.
We demand that:
The Verkhovna Rada undertake a parliamentary enquiry into the events around the abduction of Leonid Razvozzhaev;
The Human Rights Ombudsperson initiate proceedings over this abduction;
The President suspend the Heads of the Security Service and State Border Guard Service pending clarification of the circumstances behind the abduction of Leonid Razvozzhaev and of possible involvement of the Ukrainian enforcement agencies in this abduction;
The Prosecutor General’s Office carry out a full investigation into the circumstances behind the abduction and publish the results;
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs demand an explanation from the Russian Federation regarding statements from spokespersons of the Russian authorities regarding the involvement of the Russian Security Service in the abduction and send a note of protest asking for clarification of the legal grounds for the actions of the Russian Security Service on Ukrainian soil and cessation of actions which violate Ukraine’s sovereignty.
All Ukrainian authorities take measures to ensure the protection of asylum seekers in Ukraine.
Arkady Bushchenko, UHHRU Executive Director
Yevhen Zakharov, Head of the UHHRU Board
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