Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
Political prisoner, journalist, and human rights activist Dmitry Vasilets, who has been behind bars for more than a year, sent a letter to the Guarantor of the Constitution of Ukraine – Petro Poroshenko – with the demand of fair justice. Recall that judges shy away from proceedings, understanding that in his case there is no crime component. And the SBU employees every two months attend the hearings in order to “help” the judges, to extend the unreasonable measure of restraint – detention in custody, referring only to the gravity of the indictment article.
Dmitry believes that his case is politically motivated and violates human rights on freedom of opinion and expression, which was confirmed in the 14th report of the UN observer mission on human rights in Ukraine for the period 16th February to 15th May, 2016, paragraph 116.
The probability is small, but we hope for a response from the Guarantor and a speedy resolution of the mythical “separatist” cases.
Text of the letter:
Honourable Petro Oleksiyovych,
I appeal to you, as the guarantor of the Constitution, and ask you to draw your attention to the fact that currently, the Ukrainian security service keeps me and other citizens of Ukraine hostage for reasons unknown to me! I bring to your attention that the SBU is similar to the structures of the notorious NKVD of 1937-38 – arresting people behind “fake” accusations, actually takes the citizens of Ukraine as prisoner, pursuing political or criminal purposes. My case is a vivid example of the tyranny of the SBU, thanks to which I for more than a year have been in captivity in Zhytomyr jail #8. The fake allegations of the SBU of Ukraine outrage not only me, but also members of the public, activists, journalists, volunteers who are already familiar with all the materials of my case, and who with outrage still peacefully observe and highlight the charges in my case. Having read the indictment presented to me, only a mentally ill person can find there at least some part of a crime, even if the distorted facts and unsubstantiated wild lies of the investigation are perceived. Even the United Nations pointed out in their 14th report that the case on me is a violation of human rights and freedom of speech! Such arbitrariness was not even close to being possible under Yanukovych, because when judgment was made on my case in Berdichevsky district court, not only journalists are expelled from the courtroom, but also representatives of the OSCE and the Commissioner for human rights, and Zhytomyr SBU members during the intervals are not ashamed to go to the deliberation room for judges and frankly put pressure on them! All this is arbitrariness of the SBU, prosecutors office, and court is recorded on video and is in the public domain. How, after this, can you then demand from other countries respect for human rights and respect for the law, if such things are going on in Ukraine? What foreign assistance and support in the international arena for our country can be spoken about if such shameful judgements like mine, in Ukraine, are actively hidden from the general public by our repressive apparatus in the face of the Zhytomyr Prosecutor’s office and the Zhytomyr SBU?
Mr. President, I appeal to you, as the Guarantor of the Constitution of Ukraine, who has to ensure citizens a fair trial, which must respect human rights and the right to free movement while the fault of the person is not proven. In this case, employees of the SBU, without reason, keep me, Vasilets Dmitry and Timonin Evgeny, behind bars, constantly delay the proceedings and put pressure on judges, entering the jury room and forcing without grounds the prolonging of the period of mine and Timonin’s detention, instead of releasing us, because we did not commit any crimes, and the charge under article 258, part 3 (creation of a terrorist group or terrorist organization) is just a smokescreen to keep people behind bars for using the seriousness of this article.
This criminal case is under the control of the OSCE, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Amnesty International, and other international and Ukrainian human rights organizations.
In connection with the above, I ask you to assist in the speedy consideration of the case and my release and the other hostages from the captivity of SBU, as well as to eradicate the shameful blasphemy and practice of double standards of our state.
I hope you understand that the very fact of the lawlessness of the SBU and the detention of citizens of Ukraine in the captivity of prison for fake charges is the shame of Ukraine at the international level, and a direct violation of the Constitution. Your inaction is pushing repressive apparatus to arrest all dissidents by capricious employees of the SBU, who cover up all of this as it was done in 1937 – “fight against the enemies of the people, separatists, and terrorists”. That’s why I, as a patriot of Ukraine, in this difficult time for our country, and relying on the aforementioned, am compelled to draw your attention to the fact that in our State such horrible destructive processes that destabilise and destroy our country take place.
I hope that you have enough courage and political will to write a response to this letter and not just a formal reply.
With respect to you,
Political prisoner, journalist, and human rights activist Dmitry Vasilets.
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