Yesterday, the Starobilsk District Court of Luhansk Oblast for the seventeenth time extended the preventive measure in the form of arrest to Oleksandr Yefremov– until June 22. The OPPOSITION BLOC parliamentary faction has repeatedly requested the Starobilsk District Court to take Oleksandr Yefremov on bail, who has been held in the pre-trial detention centre for almost three years in violation of the Criminal Procedure Code, without a court hearing of the case in essence and a court decision on proven guilt.
The investigation into the criminal proceedings opened in December 2016 against Oleksandr Yefremov has not yet been completed, which indicates the prosecution’s lack of evidence of his guilt. His three-year arrest is a gross violation of the procedural rights of Oleksandr Efremov guaranteed by law. MPs of the OPPOSITION BLOC repeatedly gave personal guarantees that Oleksandr Yefremov would be able to properly fulfill his procedural obligations without detention, as well as pledged to take him to the pretrial investigation authorities and the court upon request. However, the Starobilsk Court has repeatedly rejected similar petitions of the MPs of the OPPOSITION BLOC.
In a situation where Oleksandr Yefremov’s health is in critical condition and continues to deteriorate, he does not receive adequate medical care The OPPOSITION BLOC faction considers his illegal detention as torture and reprisals against a political opponent.
We appeal to the Ombudsman for Human Rights Liudmyla Denysova with a request to intervene in the situation, assist Oleksandr Yefremov in access to justice, and also ensure the fulfillment of his violated rights.
Recall among criminal cases against Oleksandr Yefremov in 2014-2016, two (for inciting ethnic hatred and abuse of power) are closed by the court due to the lack of corpus delicti. The fabricated in 2016 accusation of encroachment on the territorial integrity of the state and treason, because of which he is being held in custody, the prosecutor's office also failed to collect and present evidence of guilt for three years of investigation.
The OPPOSITION BLOC expresses its support to Oleksandr Yefremov and considers the unjustified extension of the measure of restraint in the form of detention in custody as torture, and the process against him as politically motivated.