Save the Captain!

Petition "Save the Captain!"

The Ukrainian Captain dying in Spanish prison
We, the undersigned, maritime communities of Russia and Ukraine and general public, hereby Petition relevant Institutions for the immediate release and extradition to the homeland of the Ukrainian Captain Sergey Maslennikov, who is presently serving a 9 year sentence in Spanish prison in Leon for a major drug trafficking offence:
Maslennikov Sergiy M-12
Centro Penitenciario de Leon
Pareje de Villahierro s/n
24210 mansilla de las Mulas
Leon Espana.
We also demand an opening of a new investigation into the case, because we have serious reasons to believe that the Captain and his crew were framed up by their employer, the one Mr. E. Orudzhev.
Captain Maslennikov doesnt want to be extradited to Ukraine as a convicted criminal, he demands to be freed as an innocent person cleared of all accusations, and a new investigation should find the real criminals who framed up the Captain and his crew to get away with the crimes they committed. The Petition already collected two thousand signatures, and Campaign will go on till the Captain and his wife will get a fair treatment.
Maritime Bulletin Save the Captain! Campaign:

Send the e-mails with the Petition to the following addresses:

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ukraine:
  • Spain Embassy in Ukraine:
  • Ukraine Embassy in Spain:
  • Amnesty International Ukraine:
  • Helsinki Human Rights Association Ukraine:
  • Ukrainian Citizen Human Rights League:
  • International Committee Human Rights: 
  • International Human Rights Society:

  • Feedback forms:
  • Ukrainian Parliament: 
  • Human Rights Ombudsman Ukraine: 
  • Premier-Minister: 

  • Media
  • Ukrinform:
  • Interfax:
  • BBC Ukraine feedback form:

  • Latest News:

    Captain Maslennikov stands by his innocence, with some changes for the better
    Captain Maslennikov was on the verge of committing suicide, but luckily, his wife managed to make a trip to Spain and visit him in October, thanks mainly to the Campaign and public attention the Campaign received in Ukraine. Good Samaritans helped Captains wife with documents and money. Still, Captain is going on with refusing any other way out of prison except recognizing him and his crew innocent of the crime they were charged with, after new investigation and court. Captain seems to be made from steel. Thanks to the Campaign which didnt go unnoticed in Spain, too, Captain was transferred to a better Module in a prison, sometime soon hell be permitted some short leaves from the prison, and in a year hopefully, hell be released to reside in Spain under police control. Its better than nothing, though Campaign failed in the main undertaking, in initiating a new investigation. Campaign is still on until the story is over, Captain sent a letter to Maritime Bulletin, thanking all those who helped his wife and him, who signed and will yet sign the Petition. When we feel ourselves down and miserable, lets remember the Captain whos in much worse situation after his own choice, his own will, just because he feels himself to be unjustly sentenced and hes standing for justice, by whatever the cost.
    Voytenko Mikhail
    Nov 25 2012

    September 23 A Campaign to free Captain Maslennikov from a Spanish prison unconditionally and launch a new investigation into his case seems to freeze and come to a standstill. There were Ukrainian media reports on the matter, but public attention predictably, soon waned and turned to other stories. Ive been expecting such a result from the very beginning, and frankly, I didnt count on anything else. When I started the Campaign, Ive been already planning other stages of the Campaign, so that this Campaign besides its main aim, helping out Captain Maslennikov, will be a testing ground for new ways and methods of campaigning for the cause of ordinary people forgotten and neglected by the authorities. Its the main almost unsolvable problem in most cases involving seafarers, from abandon of the vessel by the owners to unjust criminal cases such cases stay either totally unknown, or if known, last for months and years just because there is no enough public attention and protests. If we find the way to force the authorities to react, then well be able to help dozens of seafarers who suffer injustice.
    Im offering all those who agree with the Campaign and the Petition, to send e-mails to the addresses given below, not once, but on a regular basis. Simply send in a e-mail the above Petition text, to remind stone-hearted officials that we down here there are human beings too, not just objects to collect taxes from. I have another, more deadly weapon up my sleeve, but Ill keep it for the moment, taking one step at a time. If anyone has other ideas, hes welcome to come up with them. The question is very simple How to influence the authorities, officials and politicians, how to force them to help ordinary seamen in difficult cases like this one?
    Helping Captain Maslennikov, were helping ourselves.
    Mikhail Voytenko
    August 13: 

    Sergey Maslennikov was born in 1949, 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 theyve been released under the condition of not leaving the country. All the crew except Captain finally, left Spain, because they couldnt find any means to live, any support or employment. Master decided to stay in Spain and prove his and crews 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 didnt 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 couldnt 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 hell 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 cant think out any other way to help him except a Sign Petition public campaign, hes forgotten by Ukrainian authorities and public, not to mention Maritime Organizations or Unionists, who cant care less for a seafarer unless there is a profit. No profit here, Im 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 lets 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
    Leon Espana

    Bring him some food or whatever, but most important thing is, show him thats he is not forgotten, its 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 wholl be able and willing to assist.

    If or when a Petition collects 300 hundred signatures, Ill 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 dont 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, Ill send it again and again, till somebody will finally, react.

    Voytenko Mikhail
    August 8 2012

    Captains full Report on the whole matter is in Russian only, you may download it here: 

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