Ukrainian political prisoner Volodymyr Balukh, who was illegally sentenced in Russia-annexed Crimea, has announced that he will be temporarily suspending his hunger strike while he is transferred from Crimea to a prison colony in Russia, head of the Crimean Human Rights Group Olha Skrypnyk told Hromadske.
“Balukh intends on continuing his protest when he arrives at the colony. He will not accept food and has stated that he will not wear the prison uniform,” Skrypnyk said.
Photo credit: Anton Naumliuk/RFE/RL
The activist has been on hunger strike since March 19, 2018. His daily diet consists of a few spoonfuls of porridge, crackers, water and tea with honey.
The Crimean Human Rights Group also published a letter from Balukh addressed to the Ukrainian people.
“Having used the last chance to find at least a crack in the occupier's punitive system, where some elements of common sense and honor might be present,” Balukh’s letter reads.
The political prisoner also requested that, in the event of his death, his body be removed from occupied Crimea.
“I ask you fulfil my last will: in the event of my physical or mental death, do not leave my body in occupied territory. I leave it to my family to decide where to bury my body – I would like it to be in a rural area on the banks of the Dnipro, near Kyiv,” Balukh adds.
/By Sofia Fedeczko