April 27 is the birthday of Nariman Dzhelal, a political prisoner, journalist, political scientist, and deputy chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people.
The occupiers illegally sentenced Nariman Dzhelial to 17 years in prison in a strict regime colony with a fine of 700 thousand rubles and restriction of liberty for 1.5 years in the case of alleged “sabotage on the gas pipeline” in the village of Perevalne, but in fact for participating in the founding summit of the Crimean Platform.
Below is an excerpt of Nariman’s speech during the criminal trial:
“Why did you go to the Crimean Platform?
When I heard this phrase, I immediately realized why I was forced to sit handcuffed, with a bag over my head, surrounded by FSB officers who forced me to confess to participating in the gas pipeline bombing.
It is quite obvious that my trip to the Crimean Platform summit is just a pretext. If not in September 2021, after my return from Kyiv, then in February 2022, after the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, I would have been arrested and subjected to the same illegal actions by the Russian special services.
Because I followed my inner convictions, did not remain silent, but called the socio-political phenomena and events that have been taking place in Crimea since 2014 by their proper names. You can call the occupation an annexation, the war a special operation, and political repression justice, but this does not change the illegality, and often meanness and vileness, of many current phenomena.
My arrest was aimed not only at revenge on the part of the Russian Federation for the desire and ability to express my opinion and attitude to the events that are taking place, but also at instilling fear in people who share similar beliefs and values to mine. As today, hundreds of people are being persecuted in Russia on false charges simply because they want peace for their country and for neighboring countries, especially Ukraine.”
Nariman has been imprisoned by Russia for more than a year for supporting his people, covering the crimes of the occupation administrations, freedom of speech and fighting for human rights. The occupiers want to deport him to one of the Russian prisons. His wife and children are waiting for him at home, and his friends and fellow citizens are waiting for Nariman’s release. We have to fight for him, for the liberation of all our territories and our people, just as Nariman is fighting for Ukraine, its freedom and independence.
We urge you to join the initiative “Letters to a Free Crimea”, which runs until May 27, and write personally to Nariman Dzhelal and other Crimean political prisoners. How to do it – read here