Irina Danilovich, a nurse and human rights activist, was abducted by security officers in Russian-occupied Crimea in April 2022 and sentenced to seven years imprisonment following an unfair trial. She has been denied access to the healthcare she required for acute ear pain. Irina who is already partially deaf, was recently transferred to a penal colony in Russia’s Stavropol Region, and has been denied a medical examination despite the risk of complete hearing loss. Denying a prisoner the healthcare they require may amount to torture or other ill-treatment. She must be released immediately and unconditionally.
Here’s what you can do:
Write to the Human Rights Commissioner urging to take all steps within her authority to ensure that Irina Danilovich:
- Is released immediately and unconditionally and acquitted and cleared of any trumped-up charges.
- Is urgently provided with the healthcare she requires and is protected from torture and other ill-treatment.
- Gets justice for the conditions of her detention and denial of medical care and that all those found responsible are held accountable.
Human Rights Commissioner
Salutation: Dear Human Rights Commissioner,
His Excellency Oleg STEPANOV
Embassy of the Russian Federation
285 Charlotte Street
Ottawa, ON K1N 8L5
Tel: (613) 235-4341/236-1413 (24H) Fax: (613) 236-6342
Irina Danilovich (Iryna Danylovych) is a civic activist and a human rights defender who was exposing problems of the health care system in Russian-occupied Crimea. She was very vocal and publicly condemned cases of politically motivated prosecutions, enforced disappearances and the arbitrary detention of human rights defenders and other activists.
On April 29, 2022, Irina Danilovich was abducted in Koktebel, Crimea, by members of the Russian Federation’s security forces. Her fate and whereabouts were unknown to her family and lawyer until May 11, 2022. According to Irina Danilovich, she was repeatedly threatened with secret execution, and spent most of this time locked up in a basement in inhumane conditions.
She was subjected to torture and other ill-treatment by her captors who were trying to force her to “confess” to state treason. She claims that after they failed to achieve this, her captors tampered with her personal belongings where they planted the explosives that were then used to prosecute and imprison her.
On December 28, 2022, Irina Danilovich was sentenced by the de facto Feodosia City Court to seven years of prison and a fine of 50,000 Roubles (US$ 720) under Article 222.1(1) of the Russian Criminal Code (illegal purchase, transfer, storage and transportation of explosive substances or explosive devices).
The trial against her was fraught with numerous fair trial violations. Her conviction under Russian criminal law is in itself a violation of international humanitarian law applicable to occupied territories, as is her transfer to a colony in Russia.
Denial of medical care
In March 2023, Irina Danilovich went on a hunger strike to protest the denial of adequate healthcare. As a result, she was taken to hospital where initial examinations were conducted concluding that she required further medical checks and urgent treatment. Nonetheless, she was taken back to the detention center SIZO-1 in the Crimean capital Simferopol and received no further treatment. Her health condition is continuingly deteriorating, and she is already partially deaf as a result.
The de facto Supreme Court of Crimea considered her appeal and in June 2023 reduced her sentence by one month but upheld her unfounded conviction. However, during the appeal, the court dismissed her request to postpone the hearing on account of her poor health and insisted that she was fit to attend the hearing. Irina Danilovich had to attend the hearing online despite the difficulties in following the proceeding due to her hearing problems.
People who have opposed the Russian occupation and illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and the human rights violations committed there since 2014 have faced persecution, including harassment, intimidation, prosecution under trumped-up charges and enforced disappearances.
Please send your appeals until January 19, 2024. If there’s the need for further action after that date, the UA will be duly updated.