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New Arrests in Occupied Crimea: About 50 Crimean Tatars Detained

Crimea arests

On 4 September, near the building of Russia’s Federal Security Service Office in Simferopol, Russian security forces detained about 50 people protesting against new illegal searches, unjustified detentions, and, in fact, the abduction of First Deputy Speaker of the Mejlis Nariman Celal and four other Crimean Tatars – Aziz Akhtemov, Asan Akhmetov, Shevket Useinov, and Eldar Odamanov

Relatives of the detainees and concerned citizens took part in the protest action, Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights Liudmyla Denisova wrote on her Facebook page

“More than 50 Crimean Tatars have been detained. They were shoved into buses with force and beaten, and taken to various police stations in the temporarily occupied Crimea, where they are being questioned without lawyers present,” the ombudsperson wrote.

Among the detainees were Ayder Kadyrov and Nuri Abdurashitov, two journalists of the Crimean Solidarity movement; Zair Smedlia, the head of the Central Election Commission of the Kurultai of the Crimean Tatar people; Lemmar Yunusov, a member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people; and Kazim Ametov, a former political prisoner and a defendant in the Veciye Qaşqa case.

Denisova said that the so-called “law enforcement officers” violated the presumption of innocence, the right to liberty, security of person, and legal assistance.

According to Crimean human rights activist Lutfie Zudieva, some of the detainees have already been released. Administrative reports were drawn up against them under the article “Failure to comply with a lawful request of a police officer.”

At the same time, Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov said that a new wave of searches and arrests of Crimean Tatars on the Russian-occupied peninsula was Russia’s revenge for Ukraine’s Crimea Platform summit.

“The real reason for the recent searches and detentions is the revenge of the Russian occupiers for actions at the international level to put pressure on Russia for its crimes against Ukraine, in particular for the occupation of Crimea. We do associate the new wave of repression in Crimea with the recent Crimea Platform summit,” Chubarov said.

According to him, after the latest detentions, the Russian authorities may launch a larger wave of persecution of Crimean Tatars.

As a reminder, on Saturday, 4 September, the occupying power carried out searches in the apartment of Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Nariman Celal, a Crimean Tatar politician, a teacher, a political scientist and a journalist. He and four others were detained. Their whereabouts are unknown to their relatives, lawyers, or human rights defenders.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine demands that Russia immediately release the detainees, as well as all Ukrainian citizens whom it illegally detains.

Bohdan Marusyak

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