Memorial recognizes Roman Ternovsky, a Ukrainian citizen convicted of participation in Right Sector, as a political prisoner

01.10.2018

We demand that Roman Ternovsky be released.

Ukrainian citizen Roman Ternovsky has been convicted of participation in the activities of an extremist organisation (Article 282.2, Section 2, of the Russian Criminal Code) and sentenced to twenty-seven months in a general-regime prison colony. The Pervomaisky district court in Rostov-on-Don found Ternovsky guilty of participating, when he lived in Kharkiv, in the activities of the local branch of Right Sector. The defendant agreed to a plea bargain and pleaded guilty to all charges.

We have studied the materials of the case in detail and have concluded that the Russian investigatory bodies and the prosecution in fact charged Ternovsky with taking part in peaceful demonstrations, that sometimes possibly bordered on petty hooliganism, and other forms of legal public activities on the territory of Ukraine.

While Article 282.2 of the Russian Criminal Code establishes the formal definition of the offence (to be convicted, it is enough to be complicit in a banned group), according to the Russian Criminal Code, to constitute a crime, an act must be dangerous to the public. We consider that the activities of Right Sector in Ukraine were not directed at the «violent change of the foundations of the constitutional order, the violation of the integrity of the Russian Federation, or the undermining of the security of the state.»

The arguments on which the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation based its decision of 17 November 2014 banning Right Sector do not stand up to criticism. The ban was based on unfounded speculation and unchecked facts, including a fake «appeal by Dmitry Yarosh to Doku Umarov» (of which Right Sector has denied authorship). We consider that a criminal prosecution cannot be based on a decision of such poor quality.

For this reason, we believe Ternovsky has been deprived of liberty in the absence of any real offence. In contemporary Russia, attempts to combat Right Sector have taken the form of a «witch hunt," part of a political campaign directly linked to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
We demand that Roman Ternovsky be released, and that all prosecutions of individuals based solely on participation in Right Sector be dropped.

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.

More information about this case can be read here.

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Программа: Поддержка политзеков

Терновский Роман Леонидович родился 23 августа 1976 года в Харьковской области УССР, гражданин Украины. До ареста фактически проживал в Ростове-на-Дону, зарегистрирован в Донецкой области Украины.