Russian authorities have forcibly disappeared Mariano García Calatayud, a 75-year-old Spanish volunteer humanitarian worker whom their forces had abducted from occupied Kherson, in Ukraine, in 2022. They held him incommunicado, without charges, in occupied Crimea. The last parcel ordered for him in September through the penitentiary service’s online system was returned with a note that he was not among the inmates. The Russian authorities now claim that they do not know his whereabouts and claim he had “left Crimea” on June 1, 2023. His life may be in grave danger.
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Krasnov Igor Viktorovich
Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation
ul. Bolshaya Dmitrovka, 15a, str. 1,
GSP-3, Moscow, 125993
Russian Embassy in the United States
Ambassador Anatoly I. Antonov
2650 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20007
Email: [email protected]
Dear Prosecutor General,
I am writing to demand the immediate disclosure of the fate, whereabouts, and well-being of Mariano García Calatayud, a 75-year-old Spanish volunteer humanitarian worker who was abducted by the Russian forces while they were occupying Kherson, Ukraine, in March 2022. The correspondence between his lawyer and the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s Military Prosecutor’s Office confirms that for over a year, he was detained without charges, and that as of April 2023, he was held incommunicado in SIZO-2 detention center in Simferopol. However, the last parcel sent in September was returned with a note that he was not among the inmates. A letter from the Prosecutor’s Office received by his lawyer and dated December 4, 2023, stated that there was “no information about his whereabouts at present.” The letter does not mention that he was released from detention, nor that he “left” Crimea voluntarily, but states that he is not regarded as a missing person.
I am concerned about Mariano García Calatayud’s life, and his physical and mental integrity. I am aware that he suffers from a serious heart condition, and that there are credible reports that he has been tortured and otherwise ill-treated in detention by the Russian penitentiary authorities.
I am writing to demand an immediate disclosure of the fate and whereabouts of Mariano García Calatayud, and an end to all other enforced disappearances and illegitimate detentions by Russian forces. I demand Mariano García Calatayud’s immediate contact with family and a lawyer of his choice. Finally, I demand a free and safe passage to a destination of his choice.