Concealing Lawlessness in Ukraine: Now the Case of Vasilets & Timonin Is Being Examined Behind Closed Doors

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


Elena Berezhnaya

The judicial arbitrariness of the inflated accusations against the journalist Dmitry Vasilets and operator Evgeny Timonin reached its apogee!! Judges of Berdichev district court of the Zhytomyr region Zaitsev, Dubtsov, and Khutorn, without any legal basis, took the decision to carry out judicial investigation behind closed doors!!! The judges realized that their mocking of laws is seen by millions of Ukrainians, and therefore, to issue a guilty verdict without any evidence of the delirious accusations, during public reporting of this process, will be seen as obvious lawlessness. Also, the judges didn’t want the representatives of the OSCE, the UN, the Human Rights Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada, our institute, and other human rights organizations to monitor the process and see a cynical violation of the rights of the accused!!!

The judges refused to listen to me, although they attached to the materials of the case numerous reports, opinions, and letters of international and national bodies on the appeals of the Institute about the illegal detention of political prisoners Vasilets and Timonin! These extremists refused to one of the most respected and worthy Deputies the transferring of the young men under surety! Knowing that the accusation is completely “taken from the finger”, the judges decided to drag out the process and without any reason, reschedule court sessions!!! I want to remind the judges Zaitsev, Dubtsov, and Khutorn about the boomerang – who acts outside the law, will himself fall under the millstones of lawlessness!!!

Institute of Legal Policy and Social Protection continues to fight for release of political prisoners – journalists Dmitry Vasilets and Evgeny Timonin. Director of the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Frane Maroevic confirmed in a following letter that the Office monitors the progress of the trial on the accusations of these political prisoners and is taking measures within their powers for their release.

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By agreement with the management of the Representative Office, in the near future there will be a personal meeting with the staff of the Institute.

Also, in December, PACE will consider the report about the observance of human rights in Ukraine, in which the illegal detention of Vasilets and Timonin will be specified. The Institute is waiting for the same response from “Amnesty International” and “Reporters Without Borders”! We would like more active support for young people and from the Institute of Mass Information, as well as the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine.

Dima and Zhenya! Hold on!!!

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