„We condemn politically motivated prosecution of Ruslan Kotsaba”
Statement by Ukrainian Pacifist Movement
(08.12.2020) 10 December 2020, the court in Kolomyya scheduled hearings in a criminal case of Ruslan Kotsaba, the journalist and pacifist who published in 2015 video blog calling to boycott mobilization for armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine. Kotsaba was accused of treason and obstructing military operations, crimes punishable from 5 to 15 years of imprisonment, arrested, and declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.
After 524 days of arrest and a scandalous trial, he was acquitted by the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast Court of Appeal and released in the courtroom. However, the High Specialized Court on Civil and Criminal Cases in 2017 quashed the acquittal and ordered a retrial. Then several judges and local courts recused from the case; the court ordered to return formal accusation for further investigation, but the order was quashed by the appellate court.
Now, judges Kalyniuk, Berkeshuk, and Veselov will examine 58 witnesses of the supposed political impact of Ruslan’s video blog and pass their judgment.
Ukrainian Pacifist Movement condemns politically motivated prosecution of Ruslan Kotsaba for expression of his antiwar views. We demand the Ukrainian government to stop repressions against pacifists. Also, we call civil society in Ukraine and worldwide to raise voices in support for human rights to peace, freedom of thought and expression in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Pacifist Movement: Statement, December 8, 2020