Political Prisoner Darya Mastikasheva – Two Years in Ukrainian Jail on Unfounded Charges

Darya Mastikasheva. A young woman with sad eyes. She has been in a pre-trial detention center in Dnepropetrovsk without an alternative for already 2 years. And in two years she’s has no opportunity to see her child.

In August 2017 Darya was kidnapped by employees of the SBU and, during several days, was beaten, tortured, and threatened to admit on camera her alleged guilt – total absurdity: that she allegedly hired soldiers of the ATO for further committing acts of terrorism in Russia. And acts of terrorism were allegedly necessary for the purpose of discrediting Ukraine. This video with a confession was shown by the head of the Security Service of Ukraine (at that time) Vasily Gritsak during a press conference. Then the video disappeared from the case papers. Lawyers are trying to obtain a criminal investigation into the kidnapping and torture of Darya, but to no avail. Her case isn’t heard in essence, and the measure of restraint in the form of detention without an alternative is each time extended for another 60 days.

The Krasnogvardeysky court of Dnepropetrvosk and the Court of Appeal hot potato the case to each other, playing on the nerves of the lawyer Valentin Rybin and on the life of this young girl.

And all because in August-September 2017 the SBU evidently had a certain order to detain the maximum number of “separatists”. I will remind that during this period the journalists Vasily Muravitsky and Pavel Volkov, as well as the 83-year-old Mekhti Logunov in Kharkov who was sentenced to 12 years in prison, and the court in Kharkov postpones his appeal every time for several months because according to them no rooms are free for hearings, were also detained.

There can’t be any talk about changes in the state as long as Darya and hundreds of other unfairly accused people are left in pre-trial detention centers and prisons without access to justice. And the former head of the SBU Vasily Gritsak and hundreds of other officials who had a hand in these crimes remain unpunished and are free.

Darya deserves justice. Darya deserves to at last see and embrace her child.

Nataliya Natalina

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