Ukraine working for release of journo jailed in Belarus

Lyudmyla Denisova, Ukraine’s Commissioner for Human Rights, met with the wife of Ukrainian journalist Pavlo Sharoiko who is serving a prison term in Belarus.

The Ukrainian citizen’s returning to Ukraine was the key issue discussed at the meeting.

“<…> we defined the further steps we should take to bring Pavlo back home. At my request, the staff of the Secretariat will appeal to the corresponding bodies,” Denisova said on Facebook.

UA: Ukrainian Radio employee Pavlo Sharoiko was arrested in Minsk in October, 2017. According to the KGB spokesman Dzmitry Pabyarzhyn, Sharoiko, an officer of Ukraine’s military intelligence, worked undercover as a radio correspondent and created a spy network of the citizens of Belarus. Sharoiko’s work was coordinated by Igor Skvortsov, who ‘acted under the guise of the Ukrainian embassy counselor in Belarus’, Pabyarzhyn said. Skvortsov was declared persona non grata and expelled from Belarus. In November 2017, Sharoiko was accused of espionage.

In 2018, Pavlo Sharoiko was sentenced to eight years in prison. The trial of the Ukrainian citizen which began in February was held behind closed doors. In January 2019, Sharoiko was transferred from the KGB detention centre to Babruysk penal colony Nr 2.

Ukrainian government agencies have repeatedly refuted the claim by the KGB of the alleged involvement of Pavlo Sharoiko in espionage and his being an intelligence officer.

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2018.01.12 15:01