16:58 13 Oct 2023

Lawyer defending Ukrainian war prisoners detained in occupied Crimea

Адвокат Олексій Ладін. Фото: Facebook / Alexey Ladin

Lawyer Oleksii Ladin, known for representing Ukrainian war and political prisoners, has been detained in Russian-occupied Crimea, Ukrainian media Graty reports, citing Ladin's Crimean colleagues and family members.

Ladin reportedly returned from the city of Rostov-on-Don, where he participated in court hearings in the cases of Ukrainian prisoners being tried in the Southern District Military Court.

The lawyer was supposed to arrive in Simferopol and would take part in a hearing on the extension of the preventive measure for a resident of the city of Yalta accused of possessing explosives.

Upon his arrival in Simferopol, the lawyer was detained, and his residence in Sevastopol was searched afterwards.

Lawyer Lili Gemedzhi said early information suggests that Ladin is accused of "discrediting the Russian army" through a Facebook post, but no details are available yet.

Ladin participated in many trials of Crimean Tatars accused of involvement in the Islamic party Hizb ut-Tahrir and the cases of pro-Ukrainian activists in Crimea.

After the start of the full-scale war, he defended Ukrainian prisoners of war and abducted civilians, who were charged by the Russian authorities under criminal articles.

The lawyer is defending Melitopol activist Yaroslav Zhuk, who is accused of a terrorist attack in Rostov-on-Don.

On April 27, Ukraine launched the Letters to a Free Crimea initiative, which aims to write messages to illegally imprisoned Ukrainians who are being held on the occupied peninsula or deported to Russia.

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