Children’s writer Oleg Slepynin, against whom a criminal case was opened for inciting religious hatred, wrote an open letter to the public.
In March 2019, Slepynin was searched. The SSU and the Ministry of Internal Affairs suspected the writer of making, by order of the Russian curators, materials that condemned and negatively assessed the creation of the Local Church of Ukraine and the provision of the Tomos. Law enforcement officers believe that Slepynin, signing with a pseudonym, distributed them on Russian websites.
Criminal proceedings were opened against the writer under Part 1 of Art. 161 (Intentional actions aimed at inciting national, racial or religious enmity and hatred) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. The article provides for punishment in the form of restriction of freedom for up to five years.
On August 31, the prosecutor and the investigator handed Slepynin an indictment. The writer notes that the document lacks information about the date of the alleged crime, property damage, victims and even the applicant.
“In a year and a half, investigators have produced two volumes. These are hundreds and hundreds of pages of documents of various kinds. Expert examinations were carried out for 37 thousand hryvnia, so that establish the fact of incitement to religious hatred in four journalistic articles published under my pseudonym on the Internet. The first words of the experts’ «conclusions» are: «The text of the articles contains value judgments, reflections, and the expression of one’s own thoughts.» Soon, however, political instinct understood what was required of them, and found in the text of the articles «veiled appeals «to incitement. Veiled! However, this examination allowed investigators to hype the case under the article «incitement». Law enforcers claim that the circumstances that mitigate the punishment have not been established, ”said Slepynin.
The writer has no doubt that he is being «repressed» only to create a precedent.
“So that every person, including a priest and bishop of the canonical church, knows that defending the church is fraught, opposing the seizures of churches is impossible, in your theological discourse you cannot call the schismatics — schismatics no, no: they will drag them out, just as you can’t remember with a quiet word no anathemates neither self-ordained, nor can we quote the words of the saint that schismatics commit such a sin that the blood of a martyr cannot atone for it. Why can’t all this be? It’s simple: the schismatics are offended, they have their own view of the church canons. What’s next? Further the trial, ”the accused emphasizes.
In his letter, Slepynin also talks about how the searches were carried out in March 2019: “They dug what they could — manuscripts, notebooks, business cards, and so on. Two SSU operatives were rummaging through, although according to the law, as knowledgeable people suggest, they had no right to do so. For some reason, the operatives were especially impressed by international literary diplomas. They were not interested in diplomas of Ukrainian origin. Probably, they wanted to create a negative public opinion towards me as a writer. «
The writer added that his article «Death in a Schism», which reveals a negative attitude towards schisms in the church, also appears in the case.
“It is in solidarity with the position of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and is based on the opinion of the Church Fathers. I would like to note that not a single editor, either in Kiev or in Cherkassy, who has worked with my texts for years and really knows the «author’s style of Slepynin», gave the investigation «correct testimony.» Therefore, the investigation had to take into account the testimony of more than dubious informants — “witnesses” in the case, — added Slepynin.
The writer is surprised at how «galvanized» his case was after the coming of Vladimir Zelensky to power. After all, once yesterday’s comedian «punned about the» tomos «and» thermos «, and then positioned himself equidistant from all confessions.»
Slepynin added that the terms and the procedure of the investigation were repeatedly violated, the case freely changed its qualifications, which reached the point of absurdity. “… the investigation replaced Part 1 of Art. 161 on two articles, mutually exclusive of each other, — says Slepynin, — on part 2 of Art. 15 and part 3 of Art. 161.
According to the first, «the crime was not completed for reasons beyond the control» of the criminal’s will. (In fact, this means that the crime was not committed.) The second asserts the opposite: «actions committed by a» group of persons «,» resulting in the death of people or other grave consequences. » That is, the crime was still committed, and under aggravating circumstances.
“Which, of course, was not in reality and the investigation knew for certain about it. The reason is far-fetched. The new prosecutors did not notice the absurdity, ”says Slepynin.
The writer’s lawyer went to court, demanding that the proceedings be closed due to the above facts. The court rejected the demand and chose Oleg Slepynin as a preventive measure — two months of house arrest in the daytime.
The trial began on September 14 and, for objective reasons, was postponed to November 2020.