Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
15th July, 2016
Ukrainian journalist Ruslan Kotsaba has been acquitted. The decision to release him from custody was taken by the court of appeal of Ivano-Frankivsk region. Journalist and initiator of the campaign “I am against the mobilization” was held in custody for a year and a half. Now he intends to achieve compensation.
“Of course, my health cannot be returned. No one will reverse the fact that my children grew up without me, that my wife hasn’t seen me in the year and a half that took me away from my beloved profession. It isn’t measured by any money,” said the acquitted journalist.
Earlier, the court sentenced the journalist to 3 years and 6 months in prison, reminds RIA Novosti. He was convicted of obstructing the activities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. However, the court acquitted the journalist on another article imputed to him – treason.
Ruslan Kotsaba was arrested on 8th February 2015. He called for a boycott of the next wave of mobilization in Ukraine, which took place because of the conflict in Donbass. The journalist does not consider his actions illegal, and Amnesty International recognized him a prisoner of conscience.
“I’ve not surrendered, I have not abandoned my beliefs, I know that for me it is the truth, and God helped me to prove it,” said Ruslan Kotsaba.
Kotsaba intends to return to journalism. He promises to do human rights work, to help others to fight the system. “All the talk about some changes in the prison system – it’s all a lie,” said Ruslan.