The Crimean civil society activists arrested by FSB in May 2014 were engaged in peaceful public activity and are not involved with the organization “Right Sector”. The Committee on Aid to the Crimean Political Prisoners made a statement that the accusations of FSB against Crimean activists are absurd and affront to common sense. They also consider that “the real reason for their arrest is Russia’s reaction to their participation in the campaigns against the annexation of Crimea as well as the wish to intimidate all Crimean residents who don’t support separatists having seized the power on the peninsula”.
The Crimean residents arrested by FSB are known on the peninsula as social activists who would never resort to acts of violence. The most absurd are accusations of involvement with Right Sector against Alexander Kolchenko. He has long been an active participant of the movement “Antifascist Activity” and a vigorous critic of the nationalist ideas. He has been an organizer and participant of multiple campaigns against xenophobia and solidarity with antifascists.
The Committee made the following statement: “We consider that the arrested activists are guilty of nothing except their social activism and should be set free as soon as possible. We urge the Ukrainian authorities to put the most efforts in order to save citizens of our country who were taken prisoners by the security services of the Russian Federation”.
Aleksandra Dvoretskaya – 050-055-67-73 (Kiev)
Jan Gerasimov – 068 259 7481 (Kharkov)
The Committee on Aid to the Crimean Political Prisoners is the association of the human rights defenders, civil and political activists as well as concerned citizens, which was established with the aim to coordinate the campaign for the liberation of the Crimean residents arrested by the Russian authorities. In the Committee there cooperate the members of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, the Crimean Field Mission on Human Rights, the Crimean Maidan Sotnia (Hundred), Movement Euromaidan-SOS as well as other organizations and initiatives.
As for the Crimean activists, a well-known Crimean film director Oleg Sentsov and civil society activists Alexander Kolchenko and Gennady Afanasyev, who participated in the campaigns against the annexation of Crimea, were arrested in May 2014. Sentsov was detained on 10 May, when the Russian secret service officers came to his hose to conduct a search. Kolchenko was arrested on 16 May in the city center of Simferopol while he was walking down the street with his friends.
Oleg Sentsov is a Ukrainian film director. His first film “Gaamer” was distinguished by juries from several Ukrainian and international film festivals. Oleg was an active participant of Maidan. Starting from the end of February he participated in the campaigns against the annexation of Crimea.
Alexander Kolchenko is a civil society activist, participant of the “left” and antifascism movements. He was an organizer and participant of actions and civil campaigns for rights of students and wageworkers as well as ecological campaigns. Starting from the end of February he participated in the campaigns against the annexation of Crimea.
Gennady Afanasyev is a participant of Euromaidan. He holds a degree in law having graduated from the Tavricheskiy National University. According to his relatives he has recently gone in for photography. When the Russian troops occupied Crimea he started to participate in the campaigns for the united Ukraine. He was the first to be arrested in Simferopol, a couple of days before FSB arrested Oleg Sentsov.
The Committee on Aid to the Crimean Political Prisoners knows nothing about the details of the detention of Alexey Chirniy as for now. The information about his arrest was received only today.