Irina Danilovich, a nurse and human rights activist from Russian-occupied Crimea is still being denied healthcare. She was abducted by Russian security officials in April 2022 and sentenced to seven years in prison in December 2022 following an unfair trial.
Her condition has gravely deteriorated, and she has almost completely lost her hearing due to ongoing ear inflammation. The authorities’ denial of adequate healthcare and other ill-treatment during Irina Danilovich’s incarceration has caused her condition to deteriorate and put her life at risk.
Here’s what you can do:
Write to the Human Rights Commissioner urging her to take all steps within her authority to ensure that Irina Danilovich:
- Is released immediately and unconditionally, acquitted and cleared of any trumped-up charges;
- Pending her release, she is urgently provided with adequate healthcare and is protected from torture and other ill-treatment;
- All those responsible for the conditions of her detention and denial of medical care are held accountable, in fair-trial proceedings.
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
Irina Danilovich (Iryna Danylovych) is a civic activist and a human rights defender who was exposing problems of the health care system in Crimea. She was very vocal and publicly condemned cases of politically motivated prosecution, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention of human rights defenders and other activists.
On April 29, 2022, Irina Danilovich was abducted in Koktebel, Crimea, by members of Russia’s security forces. Her fate and whereabouts were unknown to her family and lawyer until May 11. According to Irina Danilovich, she was repeatedly threatened with secret execution, and spent most of this time locked up in a basement under inhumane conditions.
She was subjected to other forms of torture and other ill-treatment by her captors to force her to “confess” to state treason. After failing to achieve this, her captors tampered with her personal belongings where they planted explosives, that were then used as a reason to prosecute and imprison her.
Her trial commenced on August 22, 2022 at Feodosia City Court and was fraught with numerous fair trial violations. On December 28, 2022, she was sentenced to seven years in 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 de facto Supreme Court of Crimea considered her appeal and in June 2023 reduced her sentence by one month but upheld her conviction.
In March 2023, she went on a hunger strike in protest against 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 Simferopol’s detention center SIZO-1 and remains there without the healthcare she requires.
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. International human rights monitors do not have access to Crimea and independent media are either banned or have been forced to shut down. Access to online platforms has also been blocked on the Crimean Peninsula and in Russia.