(ADDS HOSPITALIZATION, PASSPORT CONFISCATION)
By BosNewsLife News Center in Budapest
BUDAPEST/UZHHOROD (BosNewsLife)– An elderly Christian Ukrainian woman who made world headlines for uncovering corruption in a key border area of Ukraine was “near death” Thursday, October 29, after she was prevented by Ukrainian border guards from seeking medical treatment in neighboring Hungary.
Svetlana Milchevich, 64, the mother of BosNewsLife Senior International Correspondent Agnes R. Bos, had been pressured by authorities to halt procedures against alleged corrupt officials.
Milchevich has a permanent residence permit in Hungary. Hungarian officials were monitoring the case, but said they could not intervene as she was hold up at a border post across a bridge on Ukrainian territory. Ukrainian border guards cited a “court ruling” but could not provide documents. They also confiscated her passport, Bos said.
Milchevich was later moved to a hospital in Uzhhorod where she was expected to stay the night before proceedings at a local court against the passport confiscation.
There has been international concern over the reported cooperation between corrupt business people and authorities.
Milchevich became internationally known for leading an unregistered group of citizens in the border town of Uzhhorod, including Christians, who lost lands and other properties because of apparently corrupt authorities. BosNewsLife extensively covered the situation in Uzhhorod, a crucial gateway towards the European Union, in close cooperation with Milchevich.
The Christian woman and supporters also supported an open letter to Ukraine’s president Viktor Yushchenko, known as a ‘cry for justice’, which was quoted in many media. Hungarian officials linked the stand-off to the reporting on corruption and filming by a Belgian television crew. “It is terrible. My mother is dying from what we believe to be cancer. She has lost many kilo’s and is not able to walk. I don’t know what to do,” said Agnes R. Bos speaking by telephone from the Ukrainian border.
Her mother was advised to seek treatment in Hungary, where medical facilities are according to European Union standards. “We are extremely concerned about the situation of Ms. Milchevich who seems to have been targeted for her human rights work,” BosNewsLife News Agency said in a statement. “This treatment seems to resemble the Communist era in Ukraine,” added BosNewsLife founder Stefan J. Bos (This is a developing story; BosNewsLife will closely monitor developments).