Political Prisoner Steshenko Returns to Ukraine
The former political prisoner Oleksandr Steshenko has returned to his home city Kharkiv. He was sentenced to two years in prison in Russian controlled Crimea for allegedly setting fire to the house of Crimean mufti Emirali Ablayev
Oleksandr Steshenko said that he was going to the occupied Crimea to visit his friends, but he was kidnapped by the Russian FSB at the border.
Kharkiv resident Steshenko was accused of being a member of an extremist group. Russian “law enforcement” claimed that members of the group were the ones who set the house of a Russian appointed mufti of Crimea, Emirali Ablaev, on fire. Oleksandr says that he wrote a confession because he could not withstand the torture anymore.
“I was kidnapped at the Chongar checkpoint by the FSB and accused of setting the house of the mufti on fire. But it never happened and no one gave me such a mission. I gave false confessions because I was tortured. I was asphyxiated with a plastic bag, beaten with bags, electrocuted and I had to confess everything,” Oleksandr Steshenko, the liberated political prisoner, said.
Steshenko was released on parole. He is not sharing any details yet. The only wish he has is to hug his relatives whom he has not seen for one and a half years. Oleksandr Steshenko was met by his father. His mother died while he was in prison.
Oleksandr Steshenko senior says that when his son was arrested, everybody thought it was just an arrest. The hardest was finding out he was a political prisoner and thus when he would be released could not be determined.
“In these one and a half years what was the hardest? Waiting. Every minute, Every day,” Oleksandr Steshenko senior, father of the political prisoner, said.
Liberating Oleksandr from Russian prison was complicated, but Oleksandr Steshenko says the representative of the President of Ukraine in Crimea did a lot. Many people from all over Ukraine helped and he is grateful to each of them. Now he just wants to finally sleep in his own bed.