Oleksandr Chyzhov volunteers as a coordinator for Euromaidan Kharkiv. He has been a contributing editor on this Maidan website since the Orange Revolution of 2004. Today he was detained by the police, who accused him of distributing pornography — a charge that he denies. “The Kharkov Euromaidan Coordinating Council rules out any coincidence and considers this action by the Ministry of Internal Affairs a direct attempt to persecute one of our members,” said Natalka Zubar, a member of the Council and the Chairperson of the Board, Maidan Monitoring Information Center. Oleksandr Chyzhov issued the following statement today.
Statement by Oleksandr Chyzhov
Today, Saturday, 4 January 2014, at 11:30 PM, near a bus stop on Gagarina Avenue in Kharkov, Ukraine, I was met by five employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Department for Combating Organized Crime. They pushed me into an unmarked car with tinted windows. They took me to the police headquarters of the Chervonozavodksy district.
A police officer took my cell phone, without any witnesses and official protocol, and proceeded to copy my phone contacts, without giving me any explanation of why he was doing it. Next, I was led to the office of police detective Babushkin Vladimir Yakovlevich (Gagarina Avenue 76, Kharkov, Ukraine. Mobile +3 8050 920-20-34). While I was in the detective’s office, police officers accused me of distributing pornography via the Internet. They cited section 301 part 2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Specifically, they claimed that I used the Vkontakte site to perpetrate the crime. (The site at http://Vkontakte.com is the most popular social networking site in Ukraine, operated out of Russia).
The police officers threatened to confiscate my work and home computers. They also said they would call my work colleagues, neighbors and friends and tell them that I was disseminating pornography.
I refused to answer any questions without a lawyer. I was being held in the police office for about two hours . I was coerced to sign a statement that I had no complaints. The statement was in a registration book that was brought in specially from the entrance of the police office. I was released after being notified of a summons to report to the same police office on 8 January 2014 at 10:00 AM and that I had to give testimony, as I am considered a witness in the case. Witness of what remains unclear to me.
When I came home and connected to the Internet, it appeared that my page on the Vkontakte social network had been hacked and I have no access. Password recovery feature does not work either.