Historian and journalist
Marina Dubrovina, Dokka Itslaev, and Ilya Novikov
- Part One and Two of Article 209 of the Russian Criminal Code currently in force (leadership of a gang and participation in it),
- Clauses ‘в,’ ‘з,’ and ‘н’ of Article 102 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic, which expired in 1996 (murder of two or more persons in connection with the discharge of their official duties),
- Part Two of Article 15 and clauses ‘в,’ ‘з,’ and ‘н’ of Article 102 of the same Code (attempted murder of two or more persons in connection with the discharge of their official duties)
August 11, 2014
20 years in tight security colony
Klykh Stanislav Romanovich (born 1974), remand prison #1, 2 Sunzhenskaya Str., Grozny, 64037, Russia
days in custody
Stanislav Klykh (born on January 1, 1974) graduated from the Department of History of Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University. He used to write historical articles and organize book trade fairs. Stanislav was known to adhere to pro-Russian views.
He was detained in the Russian city of Oryol during his private visit to a girl he had got to know earlier in Crimea. Klykh’s parents learned about this incident thanks to an anonymous phone call. The caller said that Stanislav had been arrested for fifteen days for “disobeying police officers.” The parents immediately left for Oryol to see their son. However, they did not find him on their arrival because he was sent to the town of Yessentuki in the North Caucasus.
After the midnight on August 24, 2014, Stanislav’s 71-year-old mother Tamara Ivanivna received a phone call from her son. He confirmed that he was in Yessentuki and told her he was accused of crimes supposedly ‘committed’ in the mid-90s. Next day, Tamara Ivanivna got an SMS notification about his transportation to the town of Pyatigorsk (Stavropol Krai). That was her last contact with her son followed by the long months of complete unawareness.
The efforts to find Stanislav Klykh were unsuccessful for a long period of time. Given the insistence of Stanislav’s mother and the Ukrainian ombudsman, the Russian ombudsman Ella Pamfilova made inquiries to the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service and the Interior Ministry but to no avail. The Moscow Public Supervisory Commission received the following response to its inquiry regarding Klykh’s fate: “The information is confidential. We are not in position to answer.”
While the Russian judges were considering the prolongation of his preventive punishment, Stanislav’s interests were represented by court-appointed lawyers. According to his complaint, they did not provide him with proper defense but simply signed prefabricated documents.
According to the Russian human rights advocate Zoya Svetova, there is one more fact which instantiates the negligence of the appointed lawyers. The independent defense should have sent an immediate inquiry regarding the documentary evidence of Klykh’s study in Kyiv in 1994—95. Yet this information did not receive any attention on their part.
To make Stanislav slander himself and the renowned figures of the Ukrainian politics, he was subjected to severe torture, which led to the grave deterioration of his mental health.
On May 26, 2016, the Supreme Court of the Chechen Republic recognized Stanislav Klykh ‘guilty’ of the leadership of a gang and participation in it, murders and attempted murders during the hostilities in North Caucasus in 1994. Klykh was sentenced to 20-year imprisonment in a tight-security penal colony. On October 26, 2016, the Russian Supreme Court declined the appeal of the defense and upheld the sentence on Stanislav Klykh and Mykola Karpyuk.
After the judgment was passed in Chechnya, a new case against Stanislav was announced on the charges of ‘contempt of the court,’ under Article 297 of the Russian Criminal Code. In November 2016, a district court in Grozny passed a guilty verdict in this case and added one more month to Klykh’s enormous term of imprisonment.
1) false ‘testimony’ of the witness Oleksandr Malofeyev:
- Malofeyev was the only witness in this case, and his words were not supported by the documentary evidence;
- the conclusion about Malofeyev’s supposed membership of the UNA–UNSO is based, inter alia, on the tattoos with the party symbols on his body. However, such tattoos are not known to have been practiced by other party members. Moreover, Malofeyev’s involvement in the activities of the UNA–UNSO was not confirmed during the questioning of its members in Ukraine;
- the witness was vulnerable to the pressure of the Russian investigative authorities given his diseases (HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C, and drug addiction) and respective dependence on medicine;
- the comprehensive ‘Chechen War case’ was initiated back in 1997. However, the ‘evidence’ against Karpyuk appeared for the first time only years later, namely in Malofeyev’s words after the detention of Mykola in 2014;
- Malofeyev’s reference to the Ukrainian politicians Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Dmytro Yarosh, and Oleh Tyahnybok as alleged ‘participants’ of the Chechen War confirms the political bias of the case and casts doubts on the validity of the charge;
2) other circumstances:
- the pieces of ‘evidence’ in the prosecution materials are not concordant with each other. For example, they say that 500 of 140 (sic!) Ukrainians who arrived in Chechnya took part in action. The ‘evidence’ also contradicts the data available in the documentary sources about the Chechen War;
- the type of the weapons reportedly ‘used’ by Klykh for homicide does not match the type of the victims’ wounds. The established location of the most deaths does not correspond to the place where, according to the case file, the crime was ‘committed’;
- the charge of banditism is not supported by the documentary base;
- strikingly, the circulation and use of weapons and ammunition, as well as Klykh’s reported ‘use’ of tortures (all described in the case file), were not incriminated to him;
- in the time of the imputed ‘criminal activity in Chechnya,’ Klykh was a full-time student at Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University;
- the limitation period for the crimes incriminated to Klykh expired in 2010;
3) illegal methods of investigation:
- the accused were deprived of the right for an independent lawyer, consular defense and contact with the family for more than a year;
- during the investigation, Klykh was subjected to severe tortures.
According to the complaint submitted to the European Court of Human Rights by Stanislav Klykh, he was subjected to the various kinds of torture. Those included battery, asphyxiation, deprivation of sleep, food and water, use of alcohol and psychotropic substances, and transmitting the electric current through his genitals and other parts of his body.
While being held in the remand jail of Grozny, Stanislav lost 15 kg and was driven to dystrophy. Multiple scars have remained on his legs because of continuous standing in the kneeling position. His hands were twisted as a result of being handcuffed to the bars. Each time before the torture started, a cellophane packet wrapped with Scotch tape was put on his head. When it was over, unknown men in surgeon’s masks “painted wounds on his hands and legs with brilliant green and iodine because his skin rubbed away in some areas virtually to the bones.”
An examination of Stanislav’s soft tissues did not establish the cause of the injuries. However, it certified the presence of multiple scars on his body, which had not been identified during his primary medical assessment after the arrest. This fact proves that all those injuries were inflicted on Klykh during his confinement in the remand prisons of the Russian Federation.
In addition, the signs of Stanislav’s mental disorder became evident in November 2015. After several instances of his invariable behavior on trial, the court granted the lawyer’s request for a psychiatric assessment. The examination acknowledged Klykh healthy and, correspondingly, justiciable. Yet the lawyer Marina Dubrovina does not consider its findings reliable and insists on re-examination with the involvement of independent experts. In Dubrovina’s view, to recognize his diminished responsibility would mean to demolish the case because it was Klykh who witnessed against the Ukrainian politicians Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Dmytro Yarosh and the Tyahnybok brothers under the pressure of tortures.
Stanislav states that he was forced to take an unknown substance before each hearing (as is known, he suffered from the complications in the courtroom). When the lawyer inquired about the kind of the substance, she got a response that her client had taken flu antiviral drugs.
From the first instance of Klykh’s mental instability to the pronouncement of the verdict, those present at the sessions noticed the progressive worsening of his condition. Having visited him in June 2016, his mother confessed that she could hardly recognize him. Stanislav seems to relapse into a childish state, she says.