Petr Osichanskiy: "We will Help the Ukrainian Seafarer"

As known, the case of either early signing off or detention of seafarer Vadim Ignashev from m/v CAPE RICARDA is being actively discussed on the web now, allegedly because he is a citizen of Ukraine. In the interview to RIA Novosti correspondent Nadezhda Egorova on what exactly happened and how the seafarer feels, Peter Osichanskiy, the Inspector of the International Transport Workers Workers Federation and Chairman of the Seafarers Union of Russias primary trade union organization in Vladivostok, said:

I believe you know how fake news appear, which are then sensationalized.  A text is being written that is almost entirely true, but a small lie is inserted within this truth. And then the whole text becomes a lie, a lie, a fake. So it is here. This vessel really was in Vladivostok from February 27 to March 4, and the seafarer was really detained, and this seafarer, by the way, is a citizen of Ukraine Vadim Ignashov. But he was not detained because of his citizenship. Otherwise, it would have been necessary to detain three other citizens of Ukraine from the same crew. He was detained for a very specific offense which is - public calls for extremist activities.

Well, it's a general concept. And what exactly does this mean?

For example, public justification of terrorism, propaganda and public display of Nazi paraphernalia or symbols, public calls for the implementation of such acts or mass distribution of deliberately extremist materials, as well as their production or storage for mass distribution.

And did the seafarer from the CAPE RICARDA distribute these extremist materials?

He did it through social networks.

You called the offense of a Ukrainian seafarer was a public call for extremist activity. Tell me, are there penalties for extremist activity in other jurisdictions?

I suppose there are. For example, there is Article 1101 "Extremist activity" in the Criminal Code of Ukraine. There is a definition of the concept of "extremist materials": these are documents intended for publication in various media that include information of an extremist nature, that is, they call for violent changes or overthrow of the constitutional order, encroachment on the territorial integrity, inviolability, sovereignty of the state, forcible seizure or retention of power.

And will then the seafarer be criminally punished?

It's too early to talk about punishment now, the process of clarifying all the circumstances is underway. I would like to hope that everything will end well for Vadim. He is a young guy, he will be able to make the right conclusions from his behavior. I liked how he said in a small video to his parents: "Mom, Dad, I love you, everything will be fine." And I sent this video and two photos to his parents.

So have you seen him?

Yes, today, on Friday, March 4, after lunch, I got an appointment with him for 10 minutes. Vadim looked good, kept calm, smiled. I asked if he had any complaints, if anything needed to be brought. He said that he was being treated well, the food was normal, there were no complaints about his health. Later I met with his lawyer and discussed the line of defense. We also agreed that if Vadim needs something from household supplies or food, then the lawyer will make a list, send it to us and we will prepare everything.

And how did you manage to get the appointment with Vadim? After all, it is not customary for law enforcement officers to allow anyone other than a lawyer to the detained people.

Vadim is not just a detainee, he is a seafarer. And I am not just a curious visitor, I represent two well-known and respected organizations in Russia and in the Far East in particular the ITF and the Seafarers' Union of Russia. These organizations are not engaged in politicking, they strive to do their job well - to protect the interests of seafarers anywhere in the world and in any circumstances. And nationality has no meaning for us. Therefore, I am convinced that everything will be fine with Vadim, and will support him during this difficult time.