17:16 Jun. 25, 2016
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.
"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.