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Urgent Statement by the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation

28 June 2018
Urgent Statement by the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation

On July 28,  in fulfilling my mandate of the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation I had a monitoring visit to the correctional facility «Bely Medved» (Yamalo-Nenetsky Autonomous Region of Russia) where is being held Mr. Oleg Sentsov. It was crucially important for me to gain a first-hand insight into his state of health given the hunger strike.

I am ready to verify that his state of health is relatively satisfactory, meaning that all his relevant health parameters are reasonably good — blood pressure, body temperature, general appearance and psychological well-being. He walks (Oleg met me standing), watches the TV, reads newspapers, and works on his new screenplay.

Currently, Mr. Sentsov is held in a prison's medical ward of 16 sq m. with no bars on the windows which he can open. Oleg has testified that he feels better. The above is evidence that there is no immediate threat to his life.

However, it is extremely disturbing to see incomprehensible actions taken by Ms. L. Denisova, the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights, who without checking with me or any other Russian authorized bodies has tried one more time to discredit measures undertaken by the Russian ombudsman within the framework of agreement concluded by Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation and Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine, to prevent violations of the rights of the Ukrainian citizens .

Two days ago Ms. L. Denisova did not provide any support to me in my failed attempt to visit a Russian citizen held in the pre-trial detention center in Kiev, Ukraine. Today she has aggressively tried to break into the Russian correctional facility issuing ultimatums which definitely do not help to promote constructive dialogue and organization of mutual monitoring visits.

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