: Ukrainian political prisoner is being forced to take Russian citizenship

17:16 Jun. 25, 2016

Ukrainian political prisoner is being forced to take Russian citizenship

A poster depicting Oleksandr Kolchenko - Ukrainian political prisoner jailed in Russia (UNIAN photo)

Crimean activist Kolchenko refuses to sign Russian passport 

Ukrainian activist Oleksandr Kolchenko, illegally imprisoned in Russia on fabricated charges, is under pressure to take Russian citizenship.

Human rights advocates Tatiana and Nikolai Shchur report that recently Russian officials brought Kolchenko a Russian passport and demanded to sign it.  The Crimean activist refused to do it, and also declined to write an official denial letter. The advocates explained that a rejection note would mean Kolchenko accepts his Russian citizenship, but unwilling to take it.

Read also Decision to free Sentsov and Kolchenko hangs on Russian President

"Sasha [Kolchenko] is calm. Feels fine, and looks better than a month ago. He is reading a lot…Consul of Ukraine is not allowed to see him, they cite the fact that he is a Russian citizen, despite he has only a passport of Ukraine,"- Tatiana Shchur said on June 24.

Oleksandr Kolchenko along with Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov were sentenced by a Russian court to 10 and 20 years in prison, respectively. They were accused of creating an extremist organization and plotting terrorist acts in Russia-occupied Crimea.

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