Darya Mastikasheva

Darya Mastikasheva - (30 years old) athlete, former champion of Ukraine in Taekwondo, raises her son who is a Ukrainian citizen who lived in Russia.

Located in Dnepropetrovsk pre-trial detention center No.4. The case is being examined by the Babushkinsky District Court of Dnepr.

Darya Mastikasheva is accused of high treason (Article 111 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine) by recruiting veterans of the anti-terrorist operation in the east of Ukraine (ATO) to simulate the preparation of terrorist acts in Russia which the Russian special services could use to discredit the Ukrainian authorities. She faces from 10 to 15 years in jail.

On August 15, 2017 Darya Mastikasheva was abducted. As the defendant stated, people in masks and with weapons blocked her car and took her away in an unknown direction. For several days she was tortured and threatened with reprisal against her son and mother if she did not declare that she was cooperating with Russian special services and, at their request, came to Dnepr to recruit veterans of the ATO for the purpose of sending them to Russia, "... actions that by themselves do not constitute public danger, but in the aggregate of certain characteristics may be similar to actions aimed at preparing a terrorist act or sabotage” (quote from the notification of suspicion). After Darya Mastikasheva gave her consent, a video of her confession was shown by the head of the SBU Vasily Grytsak at a press conference in Kiev (August 17, 2017 at 17:00), where the head of the SBU reported that a dangerous spy had been captured. It is important to note that the official detention of Darya Mastikasheva took place after the press conference of V. Grytsak.

This means that for two days she was held illegally with the aim of "beating out" a confession from her via torture and blackmail. A lawyer was allowed to see the defendant only on August 17. The fact of the woman being tortured is confirmed by a photograph taken by her mother - the photos of Darya Mastikasheva's face clearly show signs of assault. According to the lawyer, the guards who allowed the filming of the accused in this manner have already been dismissed.

Psychological examination. During her detention in custody D. Mastikasheva declared a hunger strike, protesting against the failure to provide her with the medical care she needed in connection with the deterioration of her physical condition after being tortured. After this, the investigator decided to carry out a psychological examination. On 31.10.2017 officers of the SBU took the defendant to a psychiatric hospital for examination. The demands of Darya Mastikasheva to ensure the presence of her lawyer during the examination were ignored. A doctor, who refused to give information about himself to the defense (he only gave his name and patronymic), threatened the defendant by saying that if she did not consent to an examination without the participation of a lawyer, she would be placed in a psychiatric hospital for 60 days, which subsequently actually happened (November-December 2017).

The video of the violently obtained confession of Darya Mastikasheva, which the charges against her are based on, has never been added to the case, despite the repeated claims of the lawyer on this issue.

The lawyer Valentin Rybin, fighting against the desperate sabotage of the system, has been trying to get an answer to simple questions for almost a year - where did the head of the Security Service of Ukraine Vasily Grytsak obtain the video recognition from? Who gave him this video, and when? When was this video filmed, and by who? And most importantly - is the video the result of the procedural actions of the SBU or torture committed by criminals who abducted a woman?

The lawyer opened a criminal case at the end of 2017 on the facts of Darya Mastikasheva being tortured, but the investigator investigating this case has never come to Darya for a testimony even once, thus the process is being dragged out.

On 03.09.2018 the measure of restraint imposed on Darya was once again extended unreasonably and without an alternative - detention in custody in the pre-trial detention center, where she has been for more than a year without a court ruling, and her guilt has not yet been proven by the court. The judges substantiated their decision with such phrases: "For actions that are not in themselves a crime but similar to those that may be as such, and also for the illegal acquisition and storage of the weapons found in the car and documented at the time of detention, the detention of the defendant Darya Mastikasheva will be extended to 01.11.2018.

At the same meeting, the lawyer stated the need to bring a number of defense witnesses to court: Vasily Grytsak, Elena Gitlyanskaya, and the investigators who detained Mastikasheva from her car and the present witnesses. The panel of judges became nervous and decided to postpone consideration of this issue.

On October 4 a hearing took place on the case of the athlete Darya Mastikasheva, who has been in a pre-trial detention center for more than a year. The lawyer asked the judges to hold hearings on the case of the accused every day, since the current composition of the judges expires in 2 weeks. The judges rejected it, citing excessive employment. The judges also refused to change the preventive measure to house arrest, extending her detention for another 2 months. The lawyer of Mastikasheva has repeatedly proclaimed that the charges are false and that his client was kidnapped and tortured.

Darya has been in prison for more than a year and has not been able to see her little son.

On November 1, 2018 the Babushkinsky District Court of Kamenskoye made the decision to extend for 30 days the measure of restraint in the form of detention imposed on the athlete Dariya Mastikasheva, who is accused of state treason. The defense expressed concern that the hearing will start again in February 2019.

On 22 November, 2018 the court extended the detention of Mastikasheva up to 21 January 2019. The court also returned the indictment to the Prosecutor's office for revision.

On February 11th a preparatory hearing was held in the Krasnogvardeisky District Court of Dnepropetrovsk concerning criminal proceedings involving Mastikasheva. The case was sent for the reconsideration of the court of first instance by the decision of the Court of Appeal of the Dnepropetrovsk region.

On March 1st her lawyer, Valentin Rybin, asked the court for permission to access the printout of phone calls and declared the witnesses for the defence. Earlier, in August 2017, the lawyer obtained the initiation of criminal proceedings on the fact of the kidnapping of his client, who had incriminated herself under torture before her official detention by representatives of the SBU. According to the lawyer, the investigation has been sabotaged for two years. The lawyer appealed to the court in order to gain access to information concerning the abduction of Mastikasheva. The collegium of judges announced a break.

On April 3rd, 2019 a regular hearing was held in the Krasnogvardeysky court of Dneper concerning the case of Darya Mastikasheva . The defence is seeking temporary access to the logs of phone calls between Darya Mastikasheva and her mother in August 2017, in those days when the young woman was abducted and tortured. The judicial collegium has not decided on the motion of the lawyer. The court heard the indictment and completed its work.

On May 13th, 2019 a regular hearing was held in the Krasnogvardeysky Court of Dnepr concerning the case of the sportswoman Darya Mastikasheva. The judicial collegium refused to provide the lawyer of Matikasheva with temporary access to the logs of phone calls of persons who took part in the detention of Darya and the interrogation of witnesses declared by the defence. Also, once again, the statements of Mastikasheva and her lawyers about the abduction and torture that the accused was subjected to were ignored. The court extended the measure of restraint imposed on Darya Mastikasheva in the form of detention for 60 days.

On July 5th, 2019 in the Krasnogvardeysky court of Dnepr, the measure of restraint in the form of being held in custody in a pre-trial detention center imposed on the sportswoman Darya Mastikasheva - who is accused of committing state treason - was extended for another 60 days. The motion filed by lawyers to change the sanction was rejected. Lawyers intend to file a complaint against the decision in the Court of Appeal in the hope of changing the measure of restraint imposed on Darya Mastikasheva. The next hearing will be held on August 30th.

On August 8th, 2019 the Dneprovsky Court of Appeal did not approve the lawyer's request to change the measure of restraint imposed on Mastikasheva and left her in custody.

Since August 28, Daria Matikasheva went on a hunger strike. Her actions are connected with the fact that for 2 years in a pre-trial detention center her health condition has deteriorated, but doctors do not provide her with qualified medical care. In addition, in a statement to the leadership of the SIZO Mastikashiva indicates that mentally unstable people who terrorize her are planted in her cell. And they also threaten the recidivists in the cell.

On August 30, 2019, the y court extended the preventive measure of Mastikasheva for 60 days without defining a pledge.

We continue to monitor the court hearings on the case of the political prisoner Darya Mastikasheva.

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