Theater director Lavrenchuk detained in Italy not on Interpol's 'red card', but through circular note – Ombudswoman
Ukrainian theater director Yevhen Lavrenchuk, arrested in Naples, Italy, at the request of the Russian Federation, was detained not on the basis of establishing a "red card", as is usually done in the practice of cooperation with Interpol, but by presenting a circular note, the distribution of which is limited to certain countries, the Verkhovna Rada Human Rights Commissioner Liudmyla Denisova said.
On her Facebook page on Tuesday, she wrote that this fact "testifies to Russia's abuse of the Interpol charter and its misuse as an instrument of hybrid warfare for politically motivated persecution of Ukrainians."
"I urgently appeal to the prosecutor of the city of Naples, the Ombudsmen of the Campania region and the municipality of Naples with a request to check the legality and validity of the detention of Ukrainian citizen Yevhen Lavrenchuk, to take appropriate measures to protect him and prevent extradition to the Russian Federation. I ask head of the National Police of Ukraine Ihor Klymenko to contact the General secretariat of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) to clarify the legality of the Russia's use of the Interpol information system in the pursuit of Yevhen Lavrenchuk, "the message says.
According to Denisova, Russia accuses Lavrenchuk, who lived, studied and worked in Moscow from 1998 to 2014, of "financial violations" that he allegedly committed eight years ago. Russian media, citing the Tagansky Court of Moscow, say that Lavrenchuk was arrested in absentia in July 2020 on charges of large-scale fraud, but do not disclose details.
In 2014, the director left the Russian Federation in protest against military aggression, after which he worked as the chief director of the Odesa Opera and Ballet Theater for three years, and also had other projects in various theaters.
As reported, Lavrenchuk was detained in Naples, through which he was flying transit from Tel Aviv to Lviv, and since December 17 has been in an Italian pretrial detention center in connection with Russia's request for his extradition. The Consulate General of Ukraine in Naples provides him with consular assistance.