Pro-Ukrainian activist Vladimir Balukh decided to stop his hunger strike for the period of his transfer from the No. 1 pre-trial detention center in Simferopol. “OVD-Info” writes about it.
Balukh’s decision was announced at a press conference in Kiev, where Archbishop Clement read out the activist’s statement. After the transfer, he intends to continue his hunger strike at the prison.
Balukh went on a hunger strike on March 19. After a month of having refused food, according to “Krym.Realities”, Archbishop Clement convinced Balukh to consume the minimum intake of products (two cups of oatmeal jelly, 50–70 grams of black bread crumbs and tea with honey), which can help one “get back to baseline”
Vladimir Balukh is known for his public pro-Ukrainian stance. He has suffered pressure from security forces for participating in pro-Ukrainian protests, raising Ukraine’s flag at his house and installing the “Heavenly Hundred” memorial plaque in his yard.
On January 16, 2018, Balukh was sentenced to three years and five months of imprisonment in a penal colony and given a fine of 10 thousand rubles. According to the investigation, the police found TNT slabs in his house.
The Crimean Human Rights Group believes that prohibited items could have been planted in his house.
In December of 2017, a new criminal case for disrupting the work of the IVS (temporary detention facility) was opened (article 321, paragraph 2 of the Criminal Code) while the activist was sitting in the IVS on a charge of storage of ammunition.
According to the investigation, Balukh struck Valery Tkachenko, the Chief of the IVS. But Balukh claims that it was the officer himself who was beating and insulting him.
In July, in combination with two criminal cases, the activist was sentenced to five years in a standard regime penal colony and fined 10,000 rubles. On October 3, the court reduced Balukh’s sentence by a month.