His confession had been made under torture, says Shablii.
On 21 November 2016 Russian television channels broadcast a news-story asserting that Sevastopol resident Gleb Shablii worked for Ukrainian intelligence while «posing as a businessman." It stated he was a member of the same Ukrainian diversionary group as other Sevastopol residents detained earlier, namely Dmitrii Shtyblikov, Aleksei Bessarabov, Vladimir Dudka and Aleksei Stognii. A video was shown in which Shablii said he was carrying out a task on behalf of the intelligence service of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence. Similar video testimony was given by the other Sevastopol residents arrested.
However, in the judgments already handed down there are no links between the activities of these individuals. Shablii and Stognii were not even charged with diversionary activities or espionage. Gleb Shablii was sentenced to five years in a prison colony for illegal preparation of an explosive device (Article 223.1, Section 1 of the Russian Criminal Code) and illegal acquisition and possession of explosive materials and an explosive device (Article 222.1, Section 1). In the courtroom he stated that the explosive device had been planted on him, and his confession had been made under torture: «They put handcuffs on me, bound up my eyes and took me to a room, tied my legs with sticky tape, beat me on the head and dictated to me what I had to say in front of a camera.»
The court found Gleb Shablii had in fact been detained on 15 November 2016, although the investigator in his case officially recorded his detention and allowed a government-appointed lawyer to see him only on the evening of 17 November. According to Shablii, after being detained he had been moved from place to place and tortured, forcing him to admit guilt.
On the basis of the materials of the criminal case, Memorial Human Rights Centre has concluded that the prosecution has been fabricated and the guilt of Gleb Shablii has not been proved.
We believe that Shablii has been deprived of liberty without committing an offence. The struggle against «Ukrainian spies» is a form of witch hunt in contemporary Russia. It is part of the political campaign directly related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
We demand the release of Gleb Shablii and that those responsible for his prosecution be brought to justice.
Recognition of an individual as a political prisoner, or of a prosecution as politically motivated, does not imply that Memorial Human Rights Centre shares or approves the individual’s views, statements or actions.
For more information about this case, see here.
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