No transfer of Ukrainian prisoners

<< No 8 (239) 20 February 2017 >>

♦  Sentsov and Kolchenko are “Russian citizens”  ♦

Russian officials have again refused to transfer the defendants in the Crimea case, Oleg SENTSOV and Alexander KOLCHENKO, to Ukraine. The Memorial Human Rights Centre has declared them political prisoners.


Oleg Sentsov

According to OVD-Info, the Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Justice, Sergei Petukhov, wrote about this on his Facebook page on 6 February. In the post, he attached a photograph of a document from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. it states that Russia considers Sentsov and Kolchenko to be citizens of the Russian Federation; there is no agreement between Ukraine and Russia, moreover, on dual citizenship, nor is there a mechanism for the transfer of prisoners. Ukraine already received a similar response from Russia in October 2016, when it requested the transfer of Kolchenko and Sentsov. According to the Russian authorities


Alexander Kolchenko

“A. A. Kolchenko obtained Russian citizenship in accordance with the law ‘On the Accession of the Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation and the Formation of New Subjects – the Republic of Crimea and the Federal City of Sevastopol.”

The bottom line is that Kolchenko and Sentsov did not refuse in writing the automatic granting of Russian citizenship to all inhabitants of Crimea in 2014.

“Terrorist activities”

On 25 August 2015, Oleg Sentsov and Alexander Kolchenko were sentenced to 20 and 10 years, respectively, in a strict-regime penal colony for alleged terrorist activities. They supposedly set fire to the office doors of the [ruling] United Russia party in Crimea and also allegedly prepared terrorist acts and engaged in the unlawful trafficking of explosives. The two men were declared political prisoners by Memorial HRC in May 2016.

Translated by Nathalie Corbett
6 February 2017

Memorial HRC
FAQs about the Sentsov-Kolchenko case (R)