Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
For participating in the 2014 referendum an inhabitant of the Lugansk region was detained by SBU employees, tortured with electricity and forced to sign a document, after which she was condemned to 8 years in prison.
The injured Olga Maximova spoke about this during the 12th hearing of the Ukrainian People’s Tribunal in Donetsk. A resident of the town of Schastye (Lugansk region), she looked after her mother, who in 2013, suffered a right-sided stroke.
“On May 11th, 2014, I participated in the referendum. I also continued to look after my mother, I lived quietly. Since June 16th, 2014, representatives of the ‘Aidar‘ volunteer battalion began to come to me, I was afraid, I hid from them for a long time. On August 18th, having almost ripped the door off, I was nevertheless arrested for participating in the referendum,” said the victim.
After being detained in a police station for a day, the woman was allowed to go home, but already on August 20th SBU employees were periodically interested in her circle of contacts.
Finally, on February 28th, 2015, Olga Maximova was detained by unknown persons in military uniforms whose faces were hidden under balaclavas. A sack was put on the woman’s head, her hands were handcuffed, and she was taken away in an unknown direction where she was kept for nearly five days.
“They were abusive, as they wanted, they didn’t feed me, they beat me. I was subjected to the so-called electric chair,” she said.
According to the victim, this torture consisted of a metal chair with wet towels that the person is sat on, the hands and feet are fastened by handcuffs, and the electrical current is activated.
“From those who were present there were two persons with open faces – an investigator of the SBU of Severodonetsk Komarnitsky and a representative of the ‘Tornado‘ battalion, he was later condemned by Ukraine. I don’t know what his name is, I saw him on TV and I can identify him,” added Maximova.
“They forced me to sign a document saying that I allegedly cooperate with some people. They forced me to sign this document by beating me. Finally, on the basis of this document, I was arrested by representatives of the SBU on September 1st, 2016,” stated the victim.
On March 5th at 02:00 the woman was driven to the suburb of the city and released.
“When I was detained and taken into custody on September 1st, 2016, it was precisely the document from February 28th, 2015 signed by Komarnitsky. It was that document that I signed in the basement. I saw this investigator in the building of the SBU in the city of Severodonetsk.
The investigator Komarnitsky was present during torture. He said to people in balaclavas: ‘She doesn’t want to communicate with me’, and I started to be beaten,” remembers the victim.
According to Maximova, the last detention happened in front of her non-transportable mother, who remained alone for a long one and a half years.
“Article 258, Part 1, paragraph 3 (creation of a terrorist group) – a term of 8 years. Nobody accepted the complaints about the actions of SBU employees. They simply laughed in my face and tore them up. The lawyer who directly cooperates with the investigators and representatives of the SBU is not a lawyer – Ekaterina Petroshchuk. She didn’t help in any way at all,” she added.
Moreover, this woman is a disabled person of the 3rd category with an amputation of the lower third of her left shin.
“As a result of torture, the cartilages of my elbow joints is damaged, implants are needed. During the beating I tried to cover my kidneys with my elbows. There is a need for an operation on my right kidney,” said Olga Maximova.
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