Kremlin’s political prisoner Oleksandr Steshenko returns to Ukraine

Kharkiv resident Oleksandr Steshenko, convicted in the annexed Crimea in 2018, has been released and returned to Ukraine.

Censor.NET reports citing Ihor Kotelianets post on Facebook.

"Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine in Crimea Anton Korynevych met with liberated Kremlin’s political prisoner Oleksandr Steshenko, who was detained by Crimea’s occupying power in April 2018 and illegally sentenced to two years in prison allegedly for setting fire to the house of Crimean mufti Emirali Ablayev," the Representative Office of the President of Ukraine in Crimea reports.

According to the Crimean Human Rights Group, Steshenko was released on parole.

In August 2018, Steshenko was sentenced to two years in standard regime penal colony under Part 2 of Article 167 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (wilful destruction or damage of property committed through hooligan motives by means of fire, explosion, or by any other generally dangerous method).

Kharkiv resident Oleksandr Steshenko called his mother on April 11, 2018 and said that he was being detained by the officers of the border guard service of Russia’s Federal Security Service at Chonhar entry-exit checkpoint.

The reason for the detention was allegedly the problem with Steshenko’s photo in the passport, although he had traveled with this passport earlier, including to Crimea.

On April 24, lawyers found Steshenko in a special detention centre. He was supposed to be freed on the same day at 22:00 after 12 days of administrative arrest. While waiting for their client at the exit, the lawyers saw Steshenko taken to a car without license plates and driven away in an unknown direction.

On May 21, 2018, the information appeared on the website of Russia’s Federal Security Service about "exposing a group of extremists" who allegedly aimed to "intimidate pro-Russian Crimean Tatars and escalate interethnic tensions" in the territory of Crimea. Steshenko was said to be a member of that group.

Источник: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3141605