On December 28, 2022, the so-called “Feodosia City Court” announced the verdict of Iryna Danylovych, a Crimean political prisoner, citizen journalist and nurse. The so-called “judge” Nataliia Kulinska who worked as a Ukrainian judge until 2014, found Iryna guilty of the alleged illegal possession of explosives, sentencing her to 7 years in prison and a fine of 50,000 rubles.
In the conditions of the occupation of Crimea, Iryna Danylovych highlighted the problems of health care and the rights of medical workers in Crimea. Before the abduction, she cooperated with media and human rights initiatives, covered politically motivated trials and took an active part in the labour union movement. Danylovych headed the Crimean branch of the “Alliance of Doctors” labour union, as a result of which she came under administrative pressure and was fired from her job in the narcotics service of the Feodosia Medical Association. She was threatened with a lawsuit because of her labour union activities.
On April 29, Russian security forces abducted Iryna Danylovych on the way from Koktebel to Feodosia. For 13 days, the relatives and the lawyer did not know about the fate and whereabouts of Iryna. The detention of Iryna Danylovych has all the elements of enforced disappearance. She was held for 8 days in the FSB building, fed once a day, interrogated on a polygraph, strangled and threatened to be taken to the forest if she hid anything. The journalist was forced to confess to alleged cooperation with the special services of Ukraine. Later, Iryna was offered to sign blank forms in exchange for release. After the activist agreed, she was reported that the officers allegedly found two hundred grams of explosives in her bag and took her to the “court” to choose a preventive measure.
The trial of Iryna Danylovych was accompanied by numerous violations of the right to a fair trial. Thus, one of the witnesses, Kostiantyn Vysokohliad turned out to be an employee of the occupation police. However, during the court session, he introduced himself as a self-employed person and stated that he “saw” the explosives being found in Iryna’s bag. In addition, the “judge” Nataliia Kulinska refused the defence to question 15 witnesses, allowing only one to be questioned.
During her detention, Iryna Danylovych was repeatedly subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment. Thus, during the staging for the court session, the FSB convoy injured Iryna. Due to constant complaints about the administration of the pre-trial detention centre, she was transferred to a cell without heating, where she contracted otitis and almost lost her hearing because of the lack of medical care. A day before the announcement of the sentence, during the court session on December 27, an ambulance was called to Iryna Danylovych. The doctors refused hospitalization, and the “judge” Natalia Kulinska continued the court session, despite the fact that the defendant stated that she did not hear anything and did not understand what was happening in the courtroom.
Iryna Danylovych is one of the fifteen victims of political repression and arbitrariness in the occupied Crimea and one of the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens suffering from Russian aggression against Ukraine. The Russian Federation’s defiant disregard of almost all provisions of international law once again convinces that the only way to stop the arbitrariness and impunity of the occupiers, prevent new war crimes, crimes against humanity and gross violations of human rights in Crimea and other occupied territories of Ukraine, is the earliest possible de-occupation of these territories with the help of available diplomatic, sanctioning legal and military measures, including the right to individual self-defence, provided for in Art. 51 of the UN Charter, and the restoration of the Ukrainian law and order in these territories.
Crimean Human Rights Group
Diya Human Rights Center
Human Rights Centre ZMINA
PLATFORM FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS
Regional Center for Human Rights
Educational Human Rights House Chernihiv
The Center for Civic Education “Almenda”
Human Rights House Crimea
Democratic Initiatives Incubator
Association of Relatives of the Kremlin Political Prisoners
Center for Civil Liberties
Human Rights Platform