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Startseite Urgent Actions 2022 07 Jailed Ukrainian denied urgent medical care
UA 064/22
Abgeschlossen am 29. August 2022
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Developments / Additional call


On 26 July, the penal colony authorities put Oleksandr Marchenko in a punishment cell on the grounds that he was wearing a T-shirt and not a prison uniform when going to the shower. When he tried to call his wife, it turned out that her number had been blocked by the penal colony authorities.

Amnesty International spoke with Oleksandr Marchenko’s wife who is extremely concerned that her husband could be ill-treatment while in the punishment cell and that he will not receive his medication.

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Please continue using the template letter provided in the Urgent Action which is addressed to the Head of the Russian Federal Penal Service, but if possible, we would be grateful if you could also raise the most recent concerns:

  • Express concern that placing Oleksandr Marchenko in a punishment cell, considering his serious health condition, could mean he is not provided with adequate medical care, which could amount to torture or other ill-treatment and put his health at further risk. Moreover, Oleksandr Marchenko is being prevented from having regular phone calls with his wife which violates his right to access to family and communication with the outside world and might amount to inhuman treatment.
  • Urge the authorities to ensure that Oleksandr Marchenko is held in conditions meeting international standards and provided with the adequate medical treatment he may require at the same standards of health care that are available in the community.


→ We will continue monitoring the case closely and will aim at publishing a proper update to this UA as soon as possible.

Jailed Ukrainian denied urgent medical care

AI-Index: EUR 46/5799/2022

Ukrainian citizen Oleksandr Marchenko is serving a ten-year sentence in Russia for espionage since November 2020. He maintains that he is innocent and that he was abducted in November 2018 and tortured to extract a «confession». Oleksandr Marchenko has survived thyroid cancer and has multiple health issues. Russian authorities are denying him the medical care that he urgently requires which poses a risk to his life and may amount to torture.


Ukrainian citizen Oleksandr (Aleksandr) Marchenko told his lawyers that in December 2018 he travelled from Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, via Russia to Donetsk, in Russia-occupied eastern Ukraine, on personal business. On 18 December 2018, he was abducted by masked men when crossing back into Russia. According to Oleksandr Marchenko, the men put a bag over his head, took away his mobile phone and other personal belongings, and drove him to a secret prison belonging to the so-called «Donetsk People’s Republic» («DNR»). There he was held incommunicado in the basement, in a cell without windows, bed, toilet or running water. From the first day of his abduction Oleksandr Marchenko was subjected to torture and other ill-treatment, including electrocution, until he agreed to read out his self-incriminating «confession» on video.

On 18 February 2019, he was made to sign papers that he had no complaints against the «Ministry of State Security of the DNR», was driven to the Russian border and was handed over to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). The FSB officers put a bag over Oleksandr Marchenko’s head and drove him for several hours to the Krasnodar Regional FSB. There, he was questioned about a man whom he says he had never met. Oleksandr Marchenko told his lawyers that after the questioning FSB officers took him to a police station where he spent the following night. Based on a fabricated record of an administrative offence, drawn by police, a court ruled the next day to have Oleksandr Marchenko detained for 10 days. Subsequently, the police fabricated two more administrative cases against Oleksandr Marchenko – each time on the day when he would have served in full his previous administrative detention (on 1 March 2019 and 16 March 2019), and he continued to be kept in custody.

During his arbitrary administrative detention, FSB officials, together with «security officials» from the «DNR», repeatedly interrogated Oleksandr Marchenko and made him sign a «confession». They made threats against him and his family, and denied him access to a lawyer. On 1 May 2019, Oleksandr Marchenko was remanded by a court accused of contraband, initially for two months. This detention was subsequently extended several times. On 6 December 2019 Oleksandr Marchenko was charged with espionage. On 26 November 2020, the Krasnodar Regional Court found Oleksandr Marchenko guilty under Article 276 of the Russian Criminal Code («Espionage») and sentenced him to ten years’ imprisonment in a strict regime penal colony. His appeals were rejected.

Amnesty International and other organizations monitoring human rights have documented cases of individuals deprived of their liberty by the so-called «Ministry of State Security» in Russia-occupied eastern Ukraine who placed them in secret detention and subjected them to torture and other ill-treatment in order to extract a forced «confession», which was then used for their «conviction».
For more details about such practices, please see the joint report by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, You Don’t Exist: Arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, and torture in eastern Ukraine,

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