Persecution of the Deputy Head of the
Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people
In July, at the meetings of the so-called “court” in the case of the Deputy Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Akhtem Chyihoz, the defense continued to provide written evidence, forensic medical examinations were conducted. The defense witness Iskander Suleimanov was questioned. The Deputy of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea, Lentun Bezaziiev and “the Head of the State Council of the Republic of Crimea”, Volodymyr Konstantynov spoke at the court sessions as witnesses after repeated convocations. Konstantynov said that Chyihoz was not seen at the parliamentary meeting on the day of the rally but talked with a Deputy of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Refat Chubarov, who demanded the cancellation of the extraordinary session of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and organized an unauthorized rally. Besaziiev also said that Chyihoz, in his opinion, was not involved in organizing a rally.
On the 18th day of July, in the “Supreme Court of the Republic of Crimea”, for the fourth time the defense filed a petition for a summons to interrogate the Crimean Mufti, Emirali Ablaiev (who took direct part in the Mejlis meeting on the 25th day of February and events on the 26th day of February, 2014), but the “court”, that was forecasted, refused because of “unsubstantiated petition”. In addition, the so-called “court” refused to add to the materials of the case about Akhtem Chyihoz protocols of two interrogations of the Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, Refat Chubarov, referring to the fact that he may appear himself in the “court”.
Ahtama Chyihogoz was interrogated at the “Supreme Court of the Republic of Crimea” on the 25th, 26th and 27th days of July. During the second interrogation, which took place on the 26th day of July, Chyihos stated that he was not involved in organizing a rally in 2014. At the last interrogation on the 27th day of July, Deputy Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar meeting said that the prosecuting witness of Eivaz Umerov, who testified against him, slandered him. Chyihos noted that Eyvaz is the only known prosecuting witness, since others are classified, and that there is a dislike of Eyvaz Umerov as to the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people and to Chyihos. According to words of his lawyer Mykola Polozov, the parties should continue debates in the process. The defense predicts the adjudgement by the end of August – beginning of September 2017.
Persecution of the Deputy Head of the Mejlis
Crimean Tatar people Ilmi Umerov “
On the 05th day of July, the “Simferopol District Court” held a regular meeting in the case of Ilmi Umerov, during which the announcement of the materials of the proceeding continued.
A video on the TV channel “ATR” with speech of Ilmi Umerov from the 19th day of March, 2016 was filmed at a “court” attached to Kreml on the 12th day of July. During the review, at the request of the “Prosecutor’s Office”, there was present as an interpreter of the Saledinov who carried out the translation of the speech of Umerov, on the basis of which the charge against him constructs. Making a synchronous interpretation the interpreter showed to the “court” his obvious lack of knowledge of the Crimean Tatar language.
On the 19th day of July, the interpreter Hubedin Saledinov was interrogated as a witness. He confessed that several times during his summons to appear to the Federal Security Department he had re-signed the updated text of the translation, not reading each time all 30 sheets, but simply signing. Therefore, the court decided to summon to appear the investigator Ihor Skrypka as a witness for “resolving contradictions”.
On the 26th day of July, there was held an interrogation by defense “investigator of the Federal Security Department” Ihor Skrypka at a “court session”. Skrypka gave evidence that contradicts the testimony of the interpreter from the Crimean Tatar language Saledinov. Ihor Skrypka accused the interpreter of lie.
Persecution of a Member of the Regional Feodosia Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Suleiman Kadyrov
On the 07th day of July, an activist, member of the Regional Mejlis Suleiman Kadyrov, who was suspected of extremism, was interrogated at “Simferopol Branch of the Office of the Federal Security Service of Russia in the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol”. The questions of the investigator concerned Kadyrov’s membership in the Regional Feodosia Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people.
During the interrogation, Kadyrov was asked about his membership in the Majlis, but these questions did not relate to the materials of the “criminal case”. During the interrogation, the lawyer also insisted that there was indicated the Ukrainian citizenship of Kadyrov in the column “personal data” of the interrogation protocol. Attorney Emil Kurbedinov said that “investigator” Parschutin categorically refused to satisfy a motion. At present, the “investigator” has satisfied only the petition for protection of the provision of copies of linguistic and psycho-linguistic expertise.
Disappearance of Erwin Ibrahimov, member of the Executive Committee of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars
In the case of Ervin Ibrahimov, the Russian “investigation” in the annexed Crimea bridles the contacts and “does not want to communicate” with the family of stolen member of the Executive Committee of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars on the peninsula in 2016. Recently, the “investigator” has stopped answering phone calls from his father Ibrahimov. The case is complicated for the reason that already all the data on who and how stole Erwin Ibrahimov, was already collected, but the investigation is not moving, and this is due to the reluctance of “investigation”.
Activists intend to tell about the disappearance of Ibrahimov as part of a meeting of the Working Group on Forced or Involuntary Disappearances of the UN Human Rights Council. In addition, “Crimean SOS” public initiative is suing the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for the disappearance of Ibrahimov.
Persecution of the Crimean journalist Mykola Seemena
On the 07th day of July, a regular “meeting” in the case of the Crimean journalist Mykola Seemena took place at the “Railway District Court of Simferopol” attached to Kreml. The “court” heard witnesses – the authors of the publications of the journalist: “the officer of the Administration of the Federal Security Department of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol” Olha Ivanova and the director of the translation bureau “Trans-Inter” Vakhtanh Karamanian. “Expert” Ivanova said that the whole “theoretical part of the expertise borrowed from the methodological recommendations of the Federal Security Department” in which there were errors. His expert conclusions, which he found in the text of Mykola Seemena, “appeals to the violation of the territorial integrity of Russia” failed to confirm during the interrogation and called the calls “indirect”.
According to the words of the lawyer Oleksandr Popkov, Vakhtanh Karamanian, in fact, confirmed the lack of legal force in the translation of case materials, which the “investigation” ordered in his company. The “court” also did not satisfy the request for defense in the closed session of the “employee of the Federal Security Department” Illia Khomenko, who could not explain how the result of tracking the journalist appeared in case before the “court” decision.
On the 18th day of July, the “court” included in the case materials the Resolution of the UN General Assembly on Human Rights in annexed Crimea, adopted in December 2016, which contains a paragraph on the rights of journalists. In addition, at the “court session” witnesses and defense experts also challenged the results of the linguistic examination conducted by the Administration of the Federal Security Department of Russia in the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. In particular, the linguist Olena Novozhylova reported that “ expert of the Federal Security Department” is incompetent in the field of linguistics, and the article of authorship of the Semen does not contain any calls to violate the territorial integrity of Russia. The “court” adopted the findings of the defense specialists and included them in the case materials. After that “court” went to interrogation of the specialist Volodymyr Rubashnyi, a psychologist, former head of the Psychological Service of the Criminal-Executive System of the Republic of Tatarstan.
He described the personality of Mykola Semen and explained to the “court” that he had no personal characteristics appropriate of the perpetrators, and added that Semen has no motive for hostility to Russia, but there is only a desire for self-realization and self-expression.
Persecution of so-called “Ukrainian saboteurs”
At the beginning of June, Sevastopol City Court controlled by Russia issued the first verdict for so-called “Ukrainian saboteurs”, but it was only announced later. Volodymyr Prysych, who was called “spy of Ukrainian intelligence” in the Russian media, was “sentenced” by part 2 of Article 228 of the Russian Criminal Code (illegal acquisition, storage, transportation, manufacture, processing of narcotic drugs). He was sentenced to three years imprisonment. Prysych told the “court” that drugs had been thrown into him and compelled to sign a confession protocol in order to avoid a more serious allegations of espionage.
The second sentence by “Kyiv District Court of the city of Simferopol” was sentenced to Oleksii Stohnii on the 17th day of July. Ukrainians were sentenced to 3.5 years imprisonment. The “sentence” is not related to “espionage or sabotage”. Stohnii was sentenced under Part 1 of Article 222 of the Criminal Code (illegal acquisition, transfer, sale, storage, transportation or carrying of weapons, its main parts, ammunition) and Part 1 of Article 223 of the Criminal Code (illegal manufacture, processing or repair of firearms and ammunition).
On the 04th day of July, “Kyiv District Court of the city of Simferopol” extended the term of detention for another two months until the 08th day of September to another three Ukrainian citizens: Volodymyr Dudka, Dmytro Shtyblikov and Oleksii Bessarabov. The new “decree” on the extension of the preventive measure in the form of custody of the Crimean persons was pronounced by “judge” Oleksii Tykhopoi.
On the 11th day of July, Andrii Zakhtii and Dmytro Shtyblikov have concluded a “pre-trial agreement with the investigation” and found their guilt. The requirement to conclude an “agreement” was the refusal of lawyers, so they will no longer be able to provide information on the progress of the process. In particular, Zakhtii and Shtyblikov gave testimony, which confirmed the version of the Russian “investigation” about “training Ukrainian exploration series of explosions on the peninsula”.
The rest of the detainees did not enter into an agreement with the “investigation” and continue to defend themselves. Some people organize intolerable conditions of detention in the remand prison, trying to persuade them to cooperate. At the beginning of July, the lawyer of another “Ukrainian saboteur”, Yevhen Panov, said that his client was inclined to cooperate with the investigation through psychological pressure. At the same time, as the lawyer pointed out later, the recognition of guilt by Zakhtii will not affect the position of Yevhen Panov.
On the 17th day of July, Andrii Zakhtii was “deprived of Russian citizenship”. According to the source, this is due to the new allegations against Zakhtii. According to preliminary information, a citizen of Ukraine plans to bring charges in storage of weapons and falsification of documents.
Persecution of civil activist Bilial Adilov
On the 10th day of July, “judge of Kiev District Court of the city of Simferopol” Mykhailo Bilousov fined the Crimean Tatar activist Bilial Adilov for 10 thousand RUB in a criminal case about threats to children of employees of the “detachment of Special Police Force”. Adilov was found guilty of part 1 of Article 318 of the Russian Criminal Code (a threat of violence against relatives of the authorities), which provides for a fine of 200 thousand RUB, up to five years of compulsory labour or up to five years of a colony. “Prosecutor” in the debate demanded for the defendant a fine of 15 thousand RUB.
The hearings were held in one session. The discussion was conducted in open session. About 20 people came to support their compatriots. Also, at least one of the three Special Police Force officers found to be “victims” appeared on the court. Adilov found guilty under the pressure of the occupation authorities. At the beginning of the hearing, the lawyer, Semedliaiev has consistently filed three applications: the first is to close the case in connection with the reconciliation of the parties, the second is to stop the prosecution of the defendant through active reprisal, and the third is to sentence in a fine. All three applications were rejected; the third in connection with the protest of the “prosecutor”. However, in the future, the “prosecutor” proposed to impose a fine on Adilov. The lawyer noticed that he was pleased with the result of the process. No appeal is to be filed. At the same time, Semedliaiev did not rule out that the prosecutor’s office or “victim” would demand the appeal of the sentence by officers of the Special Police Force.
Persecution of civil activist Volodymyr Balukh
On the 20th day of July, after conducting a number of examinations “Razdolnenski District Court” in annexed Crimea restored the “trial” on the case of Volodymyr Balukh, who is accused of “illegal storage of weapons and ammunition”. Once again, “officers of the Administration of the Federal Security Department of Russia in the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol” did not appear as witnesses to the “trial”.
On the 24th day of July, a session on the case of the Ukrainian activist Balukh took place without the participation of a lawyer Dmytro Dinze. Balukh announced a protest in connection with the “case” trial in the absence of a lawyer, but the “court” did not see a violation of the right to protection.
On the 27th day of July, Balukh, who was arrested, became ill during the “court session”. Emergency Medical Service was called, but the “judge” decided to continue the proceedings. Upon arrival of the Emergency Medical Service, the doctors injected him and issued a statement that Balukh can return to the “session”.
Persecution of film director Oleh Sentsov and civil activist Oleksandr Kolchenko
On the 14th day of June, the Deputy Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Ilmi Umerov visited the mother of film director Oleh Sentsov Liudmyla. After the meeting, he said that the woman hopes to meet with her son. Umerov and human rights defender Oleksandr Podrabinek promised that, if such an agreement can be reached with the administration of the colony, they will help arrange for the mother a “long-awaited trip to her son” in Yakutia.
According to the information of the lawyer Svitlana Sidokina, illegally convicted in the Russian Federation, Ukrainians can be exchanged and returned to Ukraine in connection with the adoption of amendments to Russian citizenship legislation on the 19th day of July.
Persecution of a religious organization
Hizb Ut-Tahrir in Bakhchysarai
On the 07th day of July, “Supreme Court of the Crimea” controlled by Kreml decided to leave under arrest the citizens of Ukraine , Remzi Memetov, Rustem Avilatarov, Zevri Abseitov and Enver Mamutov until the 12th day of September. Sessions and announcements of “court decision” took place in closed session. More than 30 people came to the court building to support the detained Bakhchysarai persons.
On the 19th day of July, the “court” rejected the appeal of Enver Mamutov and Remzi Memetov to continue their arrest and rejected a number of petitions regarding the openness of the process. This was reported by lawyers Emil Kurbedinov and Serhii Lehostov.
On the 20th day of July, “the court” rejected the appeal of two other Ukrainian citizens Zevri Abseitov and Rustem Avilatrov and left them arrest in power. “Defendants” wanted to leave the meeting because it was held in closed session, but remained when the “court” allowed their wives to attend the announcement of the decision.
Persecution of a religious organization
Hizb Ut-Tahrir in the city of Sevastopol
On the 27th day of July, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation considered the appeal of a citizen of Ukraine, Ruslan Zeitullaiev, and left him behind the bars, increasing the term of imprisonment from 12 years to 15 with a limit of one year after serving the sentence. Zeitullaiev read his last word. In it, he called the absurd accusations against him and announced the third and endless hunger strike. Zeitullaiev also demanded a meeting with the Ukrainian consul and human rights commissioner Valerii Lutkovskyi. He requested that Russian human rights activists, a representative of the Consulate General of Ukraine, and journalists wishing to visit him at the remand prison should be admitted to the remand prison of the city of Rostov.