lutsenko.jpg AUGB has today written to Amnesty International's Urgent Action Network concerning the condition of Ukraine's ex-Interior Minister, Yuri Lutsenko, who has been held in prison since his arrest on 26 December 2010.

Opposition forces in Ukraine have maintained that the charges made against Lutsenko were and are politically motivated.  He was charged under Part 5, Article 191 (large-scale embezzlement of state property through the abuse of office, under a preliminary collusion by a group of individuals), Part 3, Article 365 (abuse of office, which led to grave consequences), and Part 3, Article 364 (the abuse of power and office by a law enforcer, which caused damage to citizens' rights as protected by the law) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

On 28 January, a pre-trail investigation (against Lutsenko and three other former ministry officials) calculated the losses to the state to be 970,000 UAH (approx £75,000).

On 22 April, Lutsenko announced a hunger strike following a ruling by Kyiv's Court of Appeal, which had extended his incarceration to 26 May.

There are various reports about Lutsenko's current state of health.  According to his wife, citing the opinion of doctors yesterday, his condition is now life-threatening.  High-ranked Church leaders and various public figures have waded in by pleading with Lutsenko to call off the hunger-strike.

The AUGB of course accepts that whilst the judicial process may be an internal matter for Ukraine to deal with, the humanitarian aspect of this case does give cause for considerable concern.  

AUGB has asked Amnesty International to consider the merits of the Lutsenko case and to urgently lend its support in trying to find a resolution to the deadlock.  

Lutsenko should not die in prison or because of a hunger-strike initiated to highlight his plight!!!



Ukrayinska Dumka


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