Legal Case of the Week: Military court dismisses appeal by Emir-Usein Kuku and five co-defendants

Week-ending 26 June 2020

From left Arsen Dzhepparov, Refat Alimov, Vadim Siruk, Inver Bekirov, Emir-Usein Kuku and, far right Muslim Aliev Photo Crimean Solidarity

On 26 June the Military Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by Emir-Usein Kuku and five codefendants against a 2019 conviction on terrorism-related charges of belonging to Hizb ut-Tahrir, an organisation banned in Russia but not in Ukraine. Amnesty International has declared all six defendants to be prisoners of conscience. In a joint letter to the Russian Prosecutor General, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch had called for all six men to be ‘immediately and unconditionally released, with their convictions and sentences quashed.’


Huge sentences upheld for defending human rights and integrity in Russian-occupied Crimea

Russia’s Military Court of Appeal has upheld horrific sentences against Crimean Tatar human rights activist Emir-Usein Kuku and five other Ukrainian Muslims despite the lack of any crime and a record-breaking number of falsifications.  The gross flaws in the case have been spelled out by, among others, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and noted by the EU diplomats who attended the first appeal hearing, yet the ‘judges’ did not make even a symbolic reduction in the sentences.  The six recognized Ukrainian political prisoners and Amnesty International prisoners of conscience have been imprisoned since 11 February 2016, with their arrests marked by particularly shocking brutality and cynicism.  Human Rights in Ukraine, 26 June 2020

See also:

Joint Letter by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International to Russia’s Prosecutor General

On the Unfounded Criminal Prosecution of Emir-Usein Kuku, an Ethnic Crimean Tatar Human Rights Defender from Crimea, and His Five Co-defendants. Human Rights Watch, 22 June 2020

Russian court refuses to consider proof that Crimean Tatar rights activist and 5 other political prisoners should be acquitted

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International issued a joint letter to Russia’s Prosecutor General on 22 June, demanding the release of Crimean Tatar human rights activist Emir-Usein Kuku and five other Ukrainian prisoners of conscience.  Their concerns about this appalling case were clearly shared by representatives of the European Union and Dutch Embassy who were also present at the court in Moscow.  It is likely that such international attention forced the court to at least pretend to give the appeal due consideration, however the rejection of all legitimate applications from the defence leave little scope for optimism about the ultimate decision. Human Rights in Ukraine, 23 June 2020

Young father sentenced to seven years for refusing to collaborate with the FSB

The first time Russia’s FSB demanded that Arsen Dzhepparov give false testimony against four Ukrainian political prisoners and he refused, they got him fired from his job.  A week later, the FSB caused a minor road incident involving Dzhepparov’s car, stopped him and, when he still refused, got him fined for supposed drunken driving.  On that occasion, the traffic police officer told the 25-year-old Crimean Tatar that, whatever the FSB wanted, he should agree to, since, otherwise, they’d destroy him.  A week later, on 18 April 2016, armed FSB and other officers burst into his home and arrested him on the same ‘terrorism’ charges as the political prisoners he had refused to tell lies about. Human Rights in Ukraine, 25 June 2020

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