May 12, 2016 –
Maxim Karpenko, PolitNavigator –
Translated by J. Arnoldski
A Ukrainian court has sentenced the journalist Ruslan Kotsaba to three and a half years for “obstructing the activities of the UAF.” Kotsaba’s laywer, Tatyana Montyan, stated this on her social-networking page. According to her, the prosecutor’s office nonetheless withdrew the charges against Kotsaba of treason, and Kotsaba has already served part of his time while awaiting the court’s decision.
“He’s already served two years, six months, and eight days, according to the ‘year for two’ rule. He will be returned the money stolen during the search of his belongings. He has yet to be convicted of state treason. He has to be given back four thousand something for the investigation. It is clear that there will be an appeal against the junta’s kangaroo court,” Montyan stated.
“My sentencing is a sentence against freedom of speech and the right to criticize the bitchy Ukrainian government,” Kotsaba wrote on a notepad at the time of the announcement of his verdict in court.
He also stated his readiness to repeat his condemnation of the ATO, this time even more harshly.
Kotsaba was arrested after urging Ukrainians not to participate in the civil war in Donbass. The international human rights organization Amnesty International recognized Kotsaba as a “prisoner of conscience” and has urged Ukrainian authorities to release him.