The pro-Ukrainian activist Vladimir Balukh, who is currently on an indefinite hunger strike, was beaten in jail. OVD-Info writes about this, citing Akhtem Chiygoz, the deputy chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people. Chiygoz stated that Balukh was “taken out of the cell, severely beaten and threatened to get rid of” in the Simferopol jail.
Baluch is known for his public pro-Ukrainian stance. He was subjected to pressure from the power structures for participating in pro-Ukrainian campaigns, hanging up the flag of the Ukraine on his house, and installing memorial plates for “The heavenly hundred” on his property. In December 2016, he was detained after searches in his house and his mother’s house. The police stated that the search resulted in the discovery of ammunition and TNT sticks. The Crimean Human Rights Group believes that the forbidden objects could have been planted in the activist’s house. On January 16, 2018, Balukh was sentenced to three years and five months in a penal colony, as well as a fine of 10 thousand rubles.
In December 2017 on a new criminal case was initiated about the disorganization of the IVS by Balukh (part 2 article 321 of the Criminal Code), when the activist was detained at the IVS and charged of storing ammunition. According to the investigation, Balukh has hit the head of the IVS Valery Tkachenko. Balukh though says that the officer himself was beating and insulting him. On July 5, 2018, on the basis of the combination of two criminal cases, he was sentenced to five years in a colony of general regime and was given a fine of 10 thousand rubles.
On March 19, 2018, the activist announced an indefinite hunger strike, which continues to this day.