Activist Balukh convicted for 5 years in prison in Crimea, Kyiv demands his release
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry demands the release of activist Volodymyr Balukh illegally sentenced to five years imprisonment in the occupied Crimea, Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Mariana Betsa has said.
"Five years for patriotism… The invader is trying to exterminate all the patriots of Ukraine. We demand the release of Balukh," she wrote on her Twitter account on Monday.
As reported, Ukrainian farmer Balukh was arrested on December 8, 2016 in his house in the village of Serebrianka of Rozdolne district of Crimea temporarily occupied by the Russian Federation. Russian authorities charged him with possession of ammunition.
Crimea's Rozdolne District Court sentenced Balukh to three years and seven months of imprisonment in a low-security penal colony and to a fine of 10,000 Russian rubles. Balukh's defense team said the case was fabricated, and his verdict would be appealed in courts of higher instances.
On December 1, Rozdolne District Court changed the measure of restraint for Balukh to two-month house arrest.
On December 6, new charges have been brought against Balukh allegedly for disorganizing the activities of institutions ensuring isolation from society.