16:12 Oct. 27, 2016
The two Ukrainians lost appeal against lengthy sentences
Amnesty International human rights watchdog blasted Russia for "defying reason" in the case against Ukrainians Stanyslav Klykh and Mykola Karpyuk.
"The numerous fair trial violations and the unconvincing prosecution evidence all point to a fabricated case," Amnesty International's Europe and Central Asia Regional Office Director John Dalhuisen said after the two Ukrainians lost their appeal against unfair lengthy prison sentences.
"Rather than taking the opportunity to correct this blatant travesty of justice, Moscow's Supreme Court has again overlooked the evidence and upheld the prosecution case in this propaganda-driven show trial," he added.
Dalhuisen underlined that Klykh and Karpyuk, who belong to a Ukrainian right-wing nationalist group, were unable to use their chosen lawyers for several months after their arrest in 2014, during which time they allege they were tortured into confessing.
Stanyslav Klykh said he was forced to drink vodka until he lost consciousness, given mind-altering psychotropic drugs, hung from bars in his cell, subjected to electric shocks and kept in solitary confinement for more than a year. None of these torture allegations have been investigated.
The torture has affected the mental health of Stanyslav Klykh, who appeared severely disturbed throughout the trial, which began in October 2015.
He undressed himself in the court room, shouted abuse and hung himself upside down inside the defendant's cage.
In November 2015, Klykh cut himself with a blade to protest against the authorities' refusal to carry out a medical examination. In October 2016, he claimed not to remember his date of birth during a court hearing and asked to be defended by Stanislav Mikhailov – a Russian pop star.
All requests for Stanislav Klykh to be offered an independent psychiatric examination have been refused and he has instead been declared fit to stand trial.
Up to the time of his alleged torture he had no previous history of mental illness.
Mykola Karpyuk and Stanislav Klykh were arrested, while visiting Russia, in March 2014 and August 2014 respectively.
They were convicted by Chechnya's Supreme Court in May 2016 of being members of a group of fighters that killed 30 Russian soldiers during the conflict in Chechnya from 1994–96. Both men have denied all the charges, stating that they were in Ukraine at the time of the alleged crimes.