In 2020, 16 political prisoners from Crimea were given varying prison sentences (the highest of 19 years), 424 people were deprived of the right to a fair trial and 77 persons were illegally transferred outside the occupied peninsula.

“The policy of systematic extension of detention, new arrests, and giving political prisoners in Crimea long prison sentences has remained unchanged in recent years. During the reporting period, 16 people were sentenced to terms from 3.8 to 19 years in prison, 47 people are currently held in custody (some were later released or placed under house arrest),” reads the report on the human rights violations in Crimea, published on the website of the NGO Crimean Tatar Resource Center (CTRC).

CTRC manager Tetiana Podvorniak noted that 424 violations of the right to a fair trial were recorded in 2020, of which 355 related to representatives of the Crimean Tatar people. In 2019, human rights activists recorded 692 such violations, in 2018 – 492, in 2017 – 515.

“The statistics show the deliberate detention of more than 100 political prisoners in custody, the misuse of Russian legislation for political purposes, in particular, to suppress the nonviolent struggle of Crimean Tatars and pro-Ukrainian activists and their protest against the occupation of Crimea,” Podvorniak stressed.

She also noted that 138 violations of the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health were recorded over the past year, 111 of which were in relation to the Crimean Tatars. This figure is higher than the data for the same period in 2019, when 134 cases were recorded. In 2018, 57 cases were recorded; in 2017, 38.

In addition, the CTRC report provides the information on systemic cases of vandalism, violations of religious rights, inadequate conditions in pre-trial detention facilities and prisons, violations of the rights of political prisoners, and illegal military exercises in the Russian-occupied Crimea.

Moreover, lawyer Ayder Azamatov stressed that new methods of suppressing peaceful demonstrations, peaceful gatherings of people, who simply want to support those held in pre-trial detention centers and prisons, were recorded last year. As an example, he cited the situation with the detention of a group of Crimean Tatar activists on the Kerch Bridge.

Bohdan Marusyak

All News ›