Today, on May 22, two political prisoners – Edem Smailov and Edem Bekirov – are celebrating their birthdays behind bars.
Since the beginning of the occupation of Crimea, activist Edem Smailov has been helping relatives of political prisoners, visiting houses where the occupation forces conducted illegal searches.
The man earned his living by doing construction and finishing work. In the village of Dolynne, Bakhchisarai district, he was the head of the Topchik religious community. Smailov was detained on May 21, 2018, on the same day as Server Mustafayev. Edem was accused of allegedly being a member of the Hizb ut-Tahrir party and preparing for a violent seizure of power. The Russian court unlawfully sentenced Edem Smailov to 13 years in a strict regime colony.
Another prisoner, Edem Bekirov, returned from Uzbekistan to his historical homeland in Crimea with his family in the 90s. He worked as a carpenter. Bekirov was concerned about the fate of his compatriots who were subjected to repression by the occupation administrations, and attended the trials of Crimean Tatars. On August 11, 2022, during a raid in the Dzhankoy district, he was illegally arrested on charges of alleged “terrorism”.
We urge you to join the “Letters to a Free Crimea” initiative and write them letters. More than 180 political prisoners who are illegally detained in the occupied Crimea or deported to the territory of the Russian Federation need words of support.
Instructions for writing letters can be found here