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Memorial considers Ukrainian citizen Nikolai Dadeu a political prisoner


Ukrainian citizen Nikolai (Mikola) Dadeu was a volunteer in the years 2014–2015 supporting the Ukrainian armed forces and Ukrainian voluntary armed formations.

He has been charged with committing an offence under Article 33 (Section 5) and Article 282.2 (Section 2) of the Russian Criminal Code (promoting participation in the activities of an extremist organisation by providing the means to commit the offence). The FSB asserts that because Dadeu published calls to help participants in the blockade of Crimea in 2015, certain Ukrainian citizens, who have not been identified by the investigators, passed on four car tyres and two portable transmitters to an unidentified member of Right Sector. At the time of his arrest, Dadeu was living in the city of Novorossiisk in Krasnodar region, together with his wife who is a Russian citizen. Dadeu had a temporary residence permit and, according to some information, was gathering the documents necessary to apply for Russian citizenship. Dadeu has been held on remand since 10 July 2017, and effectively deprived of liberty since 13 June 2017.

Memorial Human Rights Centre has examined the materials of Dadeu’s case and concludes that, while the activity of Right Sector has been banned by the Russian Supreme Court on the territory of the Russian Federation, Nikolai Dadeu, according to the charges, was a participant in the organisation only on the territory of Ukraine, of which country he is a citizen. In our view, there are no grounds to assert that the activity of Right Sector in Ukraine is aimed at achieving the «alteration by violence of the foundations of the constitutional order or the violation of the integrity of the Russian Federation, and the undermining of the security of the state." Nor is there any evidence to support the assertion that Dadeu caused significant damage to the interests of Russia.

In addition, while Article 282.2 of the Russian Criminal Code sets out the formal definition of the offence (to be convicted, it is enough to be a participant in the banned group), according to the Russian Criminal Code to constitute a crime an act must represent a danger to the public, while Dadeu has not been charged with any dangerous actions. It is all the more absurd that, as distinct from other cases, Dadeu has not even been charged with membership of Right Sector but with promoting participation in the organisation of individuals whose identity has not been established.

Furthermore, at the time Dadeu came to live in Russia in 2017 he stopped assisting the banned Right Sector and did not engage in any political activity. In other words, it is clear that Dadeu’s case falls under the explanatory note to Article 282.2 of the Russian Criminal Code, according to which a person who voluntarily ends their participation in an extremist organisation, who has not committed any other offences, is not subject to criminal liability.

We have studied the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation banning Right Sector and in our view the arguments do not withstand criticism. The ban is based on conjecture and unchecked facts, including the fake «appeal by Dmitry Yarosh to Doku Umarov," the authorship of which Right Sector has denied. We believe that a criminal prosecution cannot be based on a decision of this poor quality.

For these reasons, we argue that Dadeu has been deprived of liberty without having committed any offence. The campaign against Right Sector is one of the «witch hunts» characteristic of contemporary Russia. It is part of a political campaign directly related to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Memorial Human Rights Centre demands an immediate end to the prosecution of Nikolai Dadeu and his release.

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 details about this case, see here.

PayPal — an e-wallet for giving help to all Russian political prisoners [email protected].

Программа: Поддержка политзэков

Дадеу Николай (Микола) Петрович родился 15 февраля 1986 года в городе Николаеве УССР, гражданин Украины, индивидуальный предприниматель, в 2014-2015 году был волонтёром, поддерживал ВСУ и украинские добровольческие формирования.