07 December 2018

During a hypertensive crisis, doctors were denied access to him and his life was put at threat.

The European Court of Human Rights recognized this as torture in the Lutsenko vs. Ukraine case.

Starobelskiy Court did not establish a single criminal episode, but extended Efremov's arrest for the fourteenth time, in violation of the law.

By now, Aleksandr Efremov has been in his cell for more than 800 days without any court verdict. Unfortunately, political repressions against opponents and those otherwise-minded are a stable attribute of the current authorities.

We appealed to diplomatic missions and international human rights organizations with a request to influence the situation. I consider Petro Poroshenko and Yuriy Lutsenko personally to blame for this. And such outrageous situation is a direct result of the so-called presidential “reforms” of justice and the judicial system.

Now the authorities are preparing the next step in usurping the judiciary and the next step in restricting the rights and freedoms of Ukrainian citizens.

I am referring to presidential bill no. 9055. In essence, this initiative means destruction of independent defence lawyer's profession. It also entails elimination of citizens' access to justice and the possibility to protect their rights.

If this dictatorial bill becomes a law, defense lawyers will be deprived of such a tool as attorney's inquiries and will be thrown out of court processes without any reason. Without legal defense in court, ordinary people will not be able to stand against abuse of power by the authorities. The Opposition Bloc will not vote for this draft law. It destroys the self-government and independence of the legal profession and completes the privatization of the judicial and law enforcement system by the President of Ukraine. President Poroshenko has already received puppet courts, and now he wants to privatize the bar. My colleagues and I are convinced that in no case should citizens be denied the right to defence.

It is necessary to do everything possible to prevent this.


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