Who is Irina Danilovich? Why is she in a remand prison? How can we support her?
The wave of criminal cases directly related to anti-war stances sometimes obscures other politically motivated cases. I want to tell you about one of them.
Irina Danilovich worked as a nurse at Koktebel’s post-stroke rehabilitation center while being heavily involved in civic affairs. Irina can be called a grassroots activist, human rights defender, and journalist. She was, for example, the coordinator of the information campaign Crimean Medicine Without a Cover and in this capacity she harshly criticized the Crimean authorities during the coronavirus pandemic. Danilovich has collaborated with the alternative news website Injir Media and the human rights project Crimean Process. Radio Svoboda reports that Irina defended the interests of medical workers on the peninsula and wrote extensively about violations of their rights. Recently, writes Injir Media, Danilovich had been drawing attention to the war and related problems, including in the healthcare sector.
On April 29, 2022, Irina Danilovich was abducted by the FSB. She was found in the Simferopol pretrial detention center almost two weeks later.
As attorney Aider Azamatov discovered, Irina had been held in the FSB building for eight days, where officers made her take a lie-detector test and threatened to take her into the woods [and shoot her] if she concealed anything from them. She was fed once a day this entire time. After a week of torture, Danilovich was told to sign blank forms in exchange for her release. However, after complying with the demands of the security officers, Danilovich was not released, but sent to the pretrial detention center – allegedly, 200 grams of explosives were unexpectedly found in her eyeglass case.
It is quite obvious to me that the 200 grams of explosives “found” in the eyeglass case of the grassroots activist, journalist, and human rights defender are part of a politically motivated trumped-up criminal case. Especially since this is happening in Crimea. The Memorial Human Rights Center has repeatedly drawn attention to trumped-up criminal cases against Crimeans disloyal to the Russian authorities involving weapons, explosives or ammunition planted during searches.
Now Irina Danilovich is in jail. How can we help her? By doing all the usual things – getting the word about her case out, sending her letters and parcels (there are no restrictions on receiving parcels at the pretrial detention center), and holding solidarity actions.
Crimea became a lawless place after 2014, but public attention to Irina’s case can protect her from further mistreatment and enable her to live to see her release with minimal injuries.
Send letters and parcels to:
295006, Republic of Crimea, Simferopol, Lenin Blvd., 4, SIZО-1,
Danilovich Irina Bronislavovna (born 1979)