A Russian regional court has denied an appeal from Pavlo Gryb, a Ukrainian teenager abducted in Belarus and illegally transferred to Russia to face murky terrorism charges.
Gryb’s defense requested that the 19-year-old be released under house arrest, according to journalist Iryna Romaliyska, who was the Krasnodar court’s public gallery.
According to Romaliyska, Gryb himself was not present in the courtroom, appearing instead via video link. His mother, who attended the hearing, was only able to see her son for the first time in two months on a screen in the courtroom.
The court previously extended Gryb’s detention until January 4, 2018.
Pavlo Gryb’s disappeared in August while meeting an online female friend in Belarus. His story came to public attention after his father Ihor, a former Ukrainian border guard, alleged on Facebook that the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) had used the girl to lure Pavlo across the border and abduct him.
Ihor Gryb’s claims proved largely correct after Pavlo resurfaced in September in Russian detention. He stands accused of “abetting terrorist activities” in Russia.
Pavlo Gryb suffers from portal hypertension, a chronic illness that affects the function of his organs, raising concerns about how he will hold up in jail.
Ukrainian doctors have tried to visit Gryb at the pretrial detention center where he is being held in Krasnodar. However, Russian law enforcement officials did not allow them access to Gryb.
In October, Facebook users launched a flash mob, calling for the Russian authorities to allow Gryb access to doctors.
/By Sofia Fedeczko