Wednesday, 28 October

The Kopeysk city court of the Chelyabinsk region denied Ukrainian political prisoner Oleksandr Kolchenko a parole after he applied for transfer to correctional labor instead of imprisonment in the colony. The trial court was held in the colony No. 6 in Kopeysk on July 31.

“I would like to emphasize once again that my mother has already reached retirement age, is not working and is not able to support me.  In addition, because of age, she is very much in need of my moral, physical and – importantly – material assistance.  I am young and able-bodied.  I want and can continue to study and work.  I am not afraid of physical labor.  Instead of living at the expense of taxpayers, I could support myself,” the political prisoner stressed.

He also asked the court to take into account that since his detention he is considered to be under the control of medical staff of the pre-trial detention center and IK-6 due to his body weight deficiency.

“It is impossible to eliminate this pathology in the conditions of the colony in the absence of additional protein nutrition.  Thus, this problem can develop into a chronic disease and have irreversible consequences,” Kolchenko added.

Kolchenko called forced labor “one of the possible steps towards adaptation in society,” and said that his continued detention prevented him from continuing his studies at Tavrida National University.

“The court” motivated its refusal by the fact that there were violations of the regime in the colony by Kolchenko.

Russian human rights activist Mykola Shchur called the court’s refusal a purely political decision.

Human rights activists have appealed to the Chelyabinsk Regional Court.  The appeal must be heard within a month.  But the human rights activist sees no prospects.

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