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Crimean Tatars Remain the Biggest Victims of Repression in Occupied Crimea – Monitoring Results

Crimea arests

The press centre of the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center hosted a presentation “Analysis of human rights violations in the occupied Crimea for Nine months of 2021.” The monitoring was conducted by the Crimean Tatar Resource Centre. According to the organisation, during this period, Russian security forces conducted 46 searches, 238 detentions, and 238 questionings, interrogations, and “interviews,” The total number of arrests for nine months of the current year is 147. Most of the violations by the occupiers fall on the representatives of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people.

“Such a practice has become systemic on the Peninsula,” the report said.

According to Iskender Bariyev, Chairman of the Crimean Tatar Resource Centre and Head of the Crimean Tatar People’s Mejlis’s Department of Legal Affairs and Foreign Affairs, the trend of political and religious persecution has remained unchanged since the occupation of the peninsula. “During searches, security forces often violate the rights of victims. In particular, during the intrusion into the house, there were cases of damage to property, or a search in the absence of the owner, or planting prohibited literature. In addition, Ayub Rakhimov was killed during a search in May. The occupiers claim that he resisted,” Iskender Bariyev said.

During the reporting period, the CRC recorded 238 detentions, 202 of which related to Crimean Tatars. The number has increased significantly compared to 2020 when 68 arrests were recorded.

“Such a large number of violations in this category is due to the fact that the occupiers detained activists en masse, who were going from the Crimea to the city of Rostov-on-Don to announce the verdict to the participants in the Belogorsk “Hizb ut-Tahrir case.” At that time, 126 arrests were recorded, all of them related to Crimean Tatars, and on 4 September, 58 activists were detained under the FSS building,” said the Chairman of the CRC. The detention of Vladyslav Yesypenko, a native of Kryvyi Ri; Asan and Aziz Akhtemov, Crimean Tatars, was noted separately.

They were tortured to give evidence. In the first nine months of 2021, 238 cases of interrogations, questioning, and “conversations” were recorded in the occupied Crimea, 202 of which were related to Crimean Tatars. Compared to last year, the number of such violations decreased during the same period. Then 70 violations were recorded.

Tetyana Podvornyak, Communication Manager of the Crimean Tatar Resource Centre, emphasised that 147 arrests had been made in the occupied Crimea during the reporting period, 106 of which involved indigenous peoples. Of the 147 cases, 22 are sentences, 18 – administrative cases, 25 – new arrests, 83 – extension of detention. In nine months of last year, 195 arrests were recorded.

During the reporting period, 292 cases of violation of the right to a fair trial were recorded, 211 of which were against representatives of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people. This figure is lower than last year, but the number of violations of the right to a fair trial demonstrates the illegal activities of “courts” in the occupied territories. The Communication Manager added that violations of the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health are also systemic, and 122 cases of violations of this right have been recorded in nine months, 86 of which involve Crimean Tatars. This figure exceeds the number of such violations last year. Then the CRC recorded 112 cases. According to the organisation, in 2021 there have been 38 cases of deportation of political prisoners in Crimea, 35 of which are related to indigenous peoples.

The CRC report, which is available on the organisation’s website, also contains information on violations of religious rights, environmental norms on the Peninsula, inadequate conditions in pre-trial detention centers and prisons, violations of the rights of political prisoners, violations of women’s rights and illegal military exercises in the occupied Crimea.

Ukrainian Crisis Media Center

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