The Ukrainian Court Released the Journalist Pavel Volkov After Keeping Him Behind Bars for More Than a Year

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The court dismissed the motion of the prosecutor to extend the measure of restraint imposed on the Ukrainian journalist Pavel Volkov in the form of detention, without having chosen an alternative. After spending more than a year in the Zaporozhya pre-trial detention center the journalist was finally released.

On October 25th in the Shevchenkovsky court of the city of Zaporozhya consideration of the case of the journalist Pavel Volkov, who is accused of infringing on territorial integrity (Article 110 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine) and other complicity to terrorists (Article 258-3 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine) because of the journalistic articles that he published, continued. The human rights activists of “Uspishna Varta” carried out monitoring of this case in the courtroom.

Despite the fact that the case of the journalist Pavel Volkov has been in court for 13, in connection with the replacement of the judge the prosecutor filed a motion for the consideration of the indictment from the beginning. The defence of the accused acted against it, however the court satisfied the motion of the prosecutor. Thus all the evidence that was earlier appealed by Volkov’s lawyers will be considered by the court from scratch, in order to comply with the principle of the immediacy of the examination of evidence.

During the hearing the court also heard the motion of the prosecution for an extension of the measure of restraint. Taking into account the position of the prosecutor, who hasn’t proved the grounds and risks for extending the measure of restraint, the court refused to extend the measure of restraint imposed on Pavel Volkov, thereby having allowed him to go home.

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Since November 21st the court established daily trial dates on the case of Volkov for 2 weeks.

As a reminder, September 27th marked exactly one year since the Ukrainian journalist Pavel Volkov was jailed in a pre-trial detention center in Zaporozhya. The prosecutor’s office brought charges against him under part 2 of article 110 (Infringing on the territorial integrity of Ukraine [by a group of persons]) and article 258-3 (Other complicity to terrorists) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. He is accused under both articles for publications on the Internet. The courts prolonged Pavel Volkov’s measure of restraint in the form of detention every two months.

Earlier, in an interview with “Uspishna Varta”, Volkov reported that he had been in prison for more than a year for exclusively political motives, for his opinions and beliefs. During this time Pavel’s health sharply worsened and his chronic diseases became aggravated.

During her speech at the OSCE “Human Dimension Implementation Meeting 2018” in Warsaw in September, 2018 the chairman of the board of the “Uspishna Varta” human rights platform Nataliya Natalina informed the international public about the case of the journalist Pavel Volkov.

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