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Russian Public Chamber pledges to help Ukrainian beaten up for his pro-Russian views

April 02, 2014, 3:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, April 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Public Chamber has pledged to help Ukrainian entrepreneur Oleg Zolotchenko who was beaten up in Ukraine for his pro-Russian political views, Vladislav Grib, the Public Chamber’s deputy secretary, told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

Grib said the Public Chamber had received a phone call from Zolotchenko.

“For our part, we are going to give him all the necessary assistance. We are ready to help him seeking temporary asylum in Russia if he wishes to. We will also render all the necessary legal assistance to him and his family,” Grib said, adding the Public Chamber was planning to send the case to the United Nations Commission for Human Rights.

“Such facts should not be hushed up. This is a serious violation of human rights. Such incidents should not go unpunished,” the Public Chamber’s deputy secretary told Itar-Tass.

Grib added the Public Chamber’s hotline had been receiving numerous phone calls from people who had come under violent attacks in Ukraine for their political views and convictions.

“When we ask them to introduce themselves, they are afraid of giving their names and surnames. But, unfortunately, all these calls make one thing clear: such incidents have become commonplace in Ukraine,” Grib emphasized.

The Public Chamber’s press service reports that the attacked businessman, OIeg Zolotchenko, was registered in Odessa but used to live and work in Poltava where he has a sport bar that broadcasted sport events, including the Olympic Games in Sochi.

“Zolotchenko exhibited the Ukrainian and Russian flags in his caf·. He actively spoke out against Maidan protesters. Perhaps, that was the reason why he had been attacked,” the Russian Public Chamber went on to say.

On March 12, 2014, six masked men armed with bats smashed Zolotchenko’s car and then burst into his home. They beat the businessman with clubs in the eyes of his wife and daughter. Zolotchenko’s wife called in police but they did not come.

“After the attack, Zolotchenko started receiving threats. He and his family decided to move to Odessa,” the Public Chamber’s press service said.

“The asylum will make it possible for Zolotchenko to stay in Russia for a year. He and his family may also apply for Russian citizenship or buy a patent that will give the entrepreneur permission to work in Russia,” the Russian Public Chamber explained.

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