Sternenko was sentenced to 7 years and 3 months in prison / Photo from UNIAN

Protesters in Kyiv have announced that a new, indefinite rally in support of imprisoned activist Serhiy Sternenko is to start at noon on February 27.

They invited supporters to join the protest action over the court ruling and imprisonment of Sternenko, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

Read alsoHundreds take to the streets in Kyiv to protest against Sternenko's imprisonment (Photos)

Protesters also announced over the loudspeaker that updates regarding the event would be posted on social media.

Despite the fact that the February 23 rally was over, some activists started throwing smoke bombs and firecrackers again, the correspondent said.

Verdict

Odesa's Prymorsky District Court on February 23, 2021, passed a guilty verdict in the case of activist Serhiy Sternenko, who has been convicted of abduction. The ruling provides for seven years and three months in prison and confiscation of half of the convict's property.

Sternenko was found guilty of committing criminal offenses under Part 2 of Article 146 (Unlawful imprisonment or kidnapping), Part 2 of Article 187 (Robbery) and Part 1 of Article 263 (Illegal handling of weapons, ammunition or explosives) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The punishment was imposed under Article 187 and Article 263, as the term for criminal prosecution under Article 146 has already expired.

Hundreds of people took to the streets in Kyiv in protest against Sternenko's imprisonment on February 23, which was followed by detentions amid clashes with police. The number of detainees grew to 24; they were later released after interrogation. Over 2,000 people took part in the protest event, police said.

Sternenko case

  • In 2015, Sternenko's house in the city of Odesa was searched. The activist voluntarily handed to law enforcers his air gun, a collectible knife, and a noise pistol.
  • Investigative actions were carried out on citizen Serhiy Shcherbych's report of his alleged abduction. Shcherbych alleged Sternenko wanted to steal UAH 300 (about US$11 at the current forex rate).
  • After the raid, Sternenko was served with charge papers and put in custody before being bailed out.
  • Later, the activist was also accused of illegal possession of weapons.
  • Several criminal cases have been brought up against Sternenko, including homicide charges over the death of Ivan Kuznetsov, a person identified as one of the attackers who assaulted Sternenko in 2018 in what Sternenko believes were attempts on his life.