Ukraine: Abducted street artist released briefly, then imprisoned again


The 47-year-old Ukrainian artist Serhiy Zakharov is being persecuted for having displayed caricature installations in the streets of Donetsk which ridiculed local rebel leaders.

On 6 August 2014, Serhiy Zakharov was abducted by a group of armed men who appeared at his home. His artwork and computer were also seized. He was taken to the basement of the former Ukrainian Security Service building in Donetsk, where he was interrogated and tortured.

Human Rights in Ukraine reported almost two weeks later that he had been released on 17 August without any explanation, but then he disappeared again after having returned to the building to try to get his documents back.

One of Zakharov’s installations targeted the DNR’s then military leader, Igor Girkin, also known as Strelkov. The picture showed Strelkov holding a gun to his head with the caption ‘Just do it’. It quickly went viral on the Internet.

» Human Rights in Ukraine – 20 August 2014:
Abducted street artist released briefly, then imprisoned again
Donetsk artist Serhiy Zakharov, whose street installations ridiculing the Kremlin-backed militants led to his abduction, was released on Aug 17, but has not returned since returning to try to get his documents back

» Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty – 16 August 2014:
Ukrainian Artist Still Missing After Lampooning Separatists

» Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty – 14 August 2014:
The Work Of Serhiy Zakharov

» Kyiv Post – 14 August 2014:
Kremlin-backed insurgents kidnap artist whose work ridiculed them
Serhiy Zakharov, 47, a Ukrainian artist from Donetsk who led an underground art project that ridiculed Russian-backed separatists, was taken captive on Aug. 6.

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