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08.18.24Save the Captain! (read and sign)
Sergiy Maslennikov was born in 1944, in 1978 he graduated from Odessa High Engineering Marine School as a Merchant Marine Navigator, earned Captain Certificate in 1989. His last voyage started in February 2003, he left Ilyichevsk port, Ukraine, as a Master of a salvage tug Zudar Sexto. Vessel was to serve as a standby salvage tug for fisheries in Capo Verde area. In October 2003 vessel was directed by Capo Verde authorities to render assistance to a distressed vessel, after the salvage Captain and all the crew were arrested by Capo Verde authorities on an allegation of drug trafficking. They spent in local prison 8 months and later were extradited to Spain, where they were imprisoned for the period of investigation. They had been accused of a major drug offence. In year 2005 they’ve been released under the condition of not leaving the country. All the crew except Captain finally, left Spain, because they couldn’t find any means to live, any support or employment. Master decided to stay in Spain and prove his and crew’s innocence. He managed to stay and live somehow in Spain for 3.5 years, looking for justice, but he found only injustice. In year 2009 a new investigation was opened, and later that year Central Court of a Fourth District of Madrid found the crew and Captain Maslennikov guilty, sentencing him to 9 years and 1 day imprisonment, and a fine of 69 million 610 thousand euros, for a crime of major drug trafficking. Captain appealed to a Supreme Court of Spain, but appeal was rejected in year 2011. He was offered an extradition to Ukraine, but rejected on the ground of his and crew innocence, he is still determined to prove that he and the crew didn’t commit any crime, and were just set up by the owner of the vessel, Mr. E. Orudzhev. In year 2004, while being in prison, Captain suffered pain in throat and asked for medical assistance, but was repeatedly rejected. To get a medical assistance, he had to go on hunger strike. He was attended to after a week of hunger strike, sent finally to hospital, and found to have a well-developed throat cancer. He underwent a surgery, and actually, he is slowly dying since then, but nevertheless, still resolute as ever to prove his innocence. His son perished under tragic circumstances when he was in prison. Of course he couldn’t attend funeral. His wife did everything she could to help him, and she still does, she spent all small savings the couple had and the only thing she wants is to get her husband back to home in Ukraine. He is dying, she dearly hopes he’ll spend what time he has at home cared and loved, die in peace as an innocent person, and be buried next to his son. Is she asking too much in this life?
I can’t think out any other way to help him except a Sign Petition public campaign, he’s forgotten by Ukrainian authorities and public, not to mention Maritime Organizations or Unionists, who can’t care less for a seafarer unless there is a profit. No profit here, I’m afraid. There are other cases like this one, there are other problems – the only way you guys can help yourselves, is to be active, to sign and protest, to make yourselves heard by politicians and media, both industry and national. We live in times when it became possible, there is Internet, so let’s do something to improve our society and fight the bad when we see one.
To Spanish seafarers who may stumble upon this Petition and is reading this text - please find a way to visit the Captain, he is presently kept in prison in Leon:
Maslennikov Sergiy M-12
Centro Penitenciario de Leon
Pareje de Villahierro s/n
24210 mansilla de las Mulas
Bring him some food or whatever, but most important thing is, show him that’s he is not forgotten, it’s more important for him than food or anything else. Also please advise whom to contact with Petition and collected signatures – media, authorities, Church – there must be somebody who’ll be able and willing to assist.
If or when a Petition collects 300 hundred signatures, I’ll send it all to Spanish authorities, like Premier Minister or Supreme Court, major Spanish media and to major Maritime Organizations, just to remind them that shipping is driven not only by shipping giants, but by seafarers, too. I don’t expect any reaction from Maritime Organizations, let alone help, but someday somebody will charge them for all their unpaid bills. With each new hundred of signatures, I’ll send it again and again, till somebody will finally, react.
Captain’s full Report on the whole matter is in Russian only, you may download it here: http://www.odin.tc/spain/report.doc
August 8 2012
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