Target: Vladimir Andreyevich Konstantinov, Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea
Goal: Ascertain the whereabouts of three activists who have gone missing in the Crimea
On March 13, Natalya Lukyanchenko, a EuroMaydan activist working in the Crimea, called some other activists to tell them that she and two colleagues, Oleksiy Gritsenko and Sergiy Suprum, were being chased as they drove to Simferopol. The phone call marks the last occasion on which anyone has heard from any of the three activists. Sign the petition and demand that the Crimean government ascertain and release the whereabouts of Natalya Lukyanchenko, Oleksiy Gritsenko, and Sergiy Suprun.
The activists had been in the Crimea for about a week before they disappeared. They reported being followed early in the day on March 13, and by nighttime the harassment had escalated: the activists’ car was chased and shots were fired at them as they tried to escape. There has been no sign of either the activists or their car since Lukyanchenko reported the chase. Gritsenko’s father fears that the three have been abducted by paramilitary forces, and the investigation into the disappearances thus far supports his suspicions: the cell phone signals of Gritsenko and Lukyanchenko “were located in the vicinity of the military conscription commission (kommissariat) in Simferapol,” Amnesty International reports. The guards at the complex are not wearing any insignia to identify who they report to or where they come from, and they deny having any of the activists in custody.
Like every state in the global community, the Crimea has a responsibility to ensure that there are no human rights violations committed either in its name or on its watch. Sign the petition and demand that the Crimean government immediately release the whereabouts of the three missing activists, and remind it of its obligations under international human rights treaties.
Dear Vladimir Konstantinov,
On the night of March 13, 2014, activists Natalya Lukyanchenko, Oleksiy Gritsenko, and Sergiy Suprun disappeared while en route to Simferopol. No one has seen or heard from them since and their car is missing. However, two of their cell phone signals have been traced to the kommissariat near Simferopol. I urge you to immediately investigate this issue, locate the activists, and publicly release their location, legal status, and medical condition. Furthermore, I remind you that peaceful activism is not a legitimate cause for arrest or detention. Please locate and free Natalya Lukyanchenko, Oleksiy Gritsenko, and Sergiy Suprun immediately.
Although guards on duty at the kommissariat insist that they do not have the activists in custody, all evidence points to a very different reality. Early on March 14, the three activists reported that they were being followed, and prior to their disappearance Lukyanchenko contacted other activists to report that she, Gritsenko, and Suprun were being chased and that shots had been fired at them. No one has been able to contact any of the three activists since.
Human rights workers have a right to do their work unmolested, no matter how volatile the surrounding environment. I therefore urge you to locate and free Natalya Lukyanchenko, Oleksiy Gritsenko, and Sergiy Suprun as soon as possible.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Matteo Parrini via Flickr