Tulchin, Vinnitsa Province, Ukraine, September 29, 2023
Employees of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine met yesterday with a hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church who was sentenced to five years in prison over the summer.
His Eminence Metropolitan Jonathan of Tulchin is one of several bishops who have been targeted by Ukrainian authorities on fabricated charges of “inciting religious enmity” and “justifying Russian aggression.” On August 7, the became the first hierarch to be sentenced to prison, receiving a five-year sentence with confiscation of property.
The hierarch’s lawyers are appealing and are prepared to appeal all the way up to the European Court of Human Rights, if necessary.
A number of primates and hierarchs from fraternal Local Orthodox Churches have spoken out in defense of Met. John, including His Beatitude Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem.
And now it seems the UN has taken notice. Reporting on the meeting with UN representatives yesterday, the Tulchin Diocese writes:
Protests received from the heads of Local Churches and hierarchs over the fabricated political charges by the SBU against the 74-year-old Metropolitan Jonathan of Tulchin and Bratslav, a well-known spiritual composer, who was unjustly and harshly sentenced by the Vinnitsa City Court to 5 years of imprisonment, ignoring all video facts and defense arguments, have drawn the attention of the UN Monitoring Mission for Human Rights Compliance, including in Ukraine. This organization directly received responses from the affected bishop to the questions posed to him.