Evgeny Panov’s mother talks about her son’s health problems after visiting him in Russian prison

By the Crimean Human Rights Group (CHRG)
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

Vera Kotelyanets near the “Supreme Court” of Crimea. Photo by Mikhail Batrak

Vera Kotelyanets, who often comes to Crimea from Enerhodar, Zaporozhia oblast, tosupport her son at court hearings, managed to see him on July 10, 2018, on the eve of the announcement of his verdict.

According to her, Evgeny has serious problems with his teeth and gums as a result of the electric shock torture applied to him after his arrest.

“He never complains of anything, he endures, even when it hurts. He begins to speak when there is no strength left to endure. This visit he said that there are problems with his gums. His teeth, black after the electric current, ache and break off. There are no doctors, and no one gives him medicine. And if one starts to make strong demands, they will be put in “isolation.” But many complain about their teeth, and sometimes, when a certain number of patients are recruited, a dentist is brought from the city who simply pulls out the sick teeth,” the woman told the Crimean Human Rights Group.

Vera Kotelyanets also reported that it is difficult to transfer medicines to the SIZO [pre-trial detention center]. “We must first find a pharmacy which issues certificates for drugs, for which one needs to wait from three days to a week. The list of painkillers is limited, strong drugs cannot be transferred,” Vera says. “The last time, Zhenya [Evgeny] was given activated charcoal because water was not brought in time, and they had to drink dirty tap water for a few days. His joints are also very painful. But basically he does not complain, he worries more about how we live, and where we get money for trips and transfers.”

Meetings of prisoners with relatives in the Simferopol jail occur through a cloudy double glass with iron fittings between the windows, communication is provided by old telephone tubes through which it is hard to hear.

“When I come to see him, there is always a guard beside us and nothing nonessential can be said. They have even adapted themselves to making conditional signs to convey something that cannot be spoken out loud,” Vera explains.

“This time I was given 2 hours for a visit, the longest visit of all of them; the permission for a visit with an open date came to my postal address, I gathered myself together in one day,” recalls Panov’s mother.

Vera Kotelyanets also informed the CHRG that the court sessions were usually closed, but on July 13 she was admitted to the courtroom for the announcement of the verdict, and together with the Crimean activists she was able to express her support to her son.

“On July 13, the TV “Russia” channel was allowed first into the courtroom, then we went in – myself and 7 other local activists. We were told where we should go, but we spoiled the whole picture. Entering the hall, we began to greet Zhenya, shouting “Glory to the patriots!,” “Zhenya, we love you!” I screamed: “Evgeny, we’ll get you out of here!” We were seated in the middle, and half the room, to create a crowd, was filled with people that were obviously gathered from within the courthouse. I brought Zhenya an embroidery, and he was wearing it. He was keeping well, he was very pleased that we came. At the exit, we also shouted Ukrainian slogans and words of support in Ukrainian. But back at home, I have not found anything about this anywhere on Russian channels. Only on “Anna-News” news came out about the announcement of the verdict on “the leader of the Crimean saboteurs Colonel Panov.”

“I am very grateful to the local residents, especially the Crimean Tatars, who support Zhenya and me,” Vera said.

On 13 July 2018, the “Supreme Court” of Crimea  sentenced Ukrainian citizen Evgeny Panov, accused by Russian special services of preparing a sabotage on the peninsula [Crimea], to 8 years in a strict-regime colony. The FSB accused Evgeny Panov of “preparing sabotages in Crimea as part of a sabotage group.” In addition, the Ukrainian was also accused of “smuggling ammunition across the customs border of the Customs Union” (Part 1, Article 30 and paragraph “a” Part 2, Article 281, Part 3, Article 30 and Part 3, Article 226.1, part 3 of Article 222 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

In the case of Evgeny Panov, torture, psychological pressure, falsification of evidence, obstruction of the work of lawyers, violation of the right to a fair trial, were recorded. According to human rights activists, Evgeny Panov, along with other citizens of Ukraine who have been accused in cases of [so-called] “saboteurs,” are victims of politically motivated criminal prosecution.

Ukrainian human rights activists have issued an open appeal to the governments of the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Montenegro, Iceland, Albania, Liechtenstein, the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan, which called for the use of all possible political and diplomatic mechanisms for the release of Evgeny Panov, as well as to introduce personal sanctions against those involved in the prosecution of a political prisoner and to strengthen sectoral sanctions against Russia for gross systematic violation of human rights and war crimes in occupied Crimea.

Source: Crimean Human Rights Group


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