Legal Case of the Week: Nariman Dzhelyal, deputy chair of the Mejlis, remanded in custody for two months
Nariman Dzhelyal at the Crimea Platform inaugural meeting. Photo: Facebook via Human Rights in Ukraine

On 4 September 2021 Russian security services raided the home of Nariman Dzhelyal, a deputy chair of the Crimean Tatar representative body, the Mejlis. Dzhelyal, who had just returned from Kyiv where he had been attending the international summit of the Crimea Platform [a body that aims to focus the attention of the international community on the human rights situation in Russian-annexed Crimea] was detained. Dzhelyal was held, Human Rights Watch reports, without water, food, or access to a lawyer, in handcuffs and with a bag over his head, for 24 hours. Also on 4 September about 50 Crimean Tatars were detained when they gathered peacefully outside the FSB building in Simferopol to inquire about the fate of Dzhelyal and four other men recently detained. On 6 September a court remanded Dzhelyal in custody for two months on suspicion of involvement in an attack on a gas pipeline. Another Crimean Tatar, Eldar Menseitov, was detained by security forces on 7 September.


Human Rights in Ukraine, 4 September 2021: At least 42 Crimean Tatars, including several elderly men, have been detained by enforcement officers in occupied Crimea for peacefully gathering outside the FSB building in Simferopol.  The detained were seeking information as to the whereabouts of Nariman Dzhelyal, Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis and four other men who had not been seen since they were taken away after armed raids on 3 and 4 September.  It was already 21.00 when one of the men’s lawyers was finally able to confirm that the five men are all being held at the FSB building in Simferopol.  

RFE/RL, 5 September 2021: More than 50 Crimean Tatars have been detained by the Russian intelligence service in Ukraine’s Russia-controlled Crimea region, Ukrainian officials said on September 4.

RFE/RL, 6 September 2021: A court in Russian-annexed Crimea ordered Crimean Tatar leader Nariman Dzhelyal to be held in custody for two months on September 6 on suspicion of involvement in an attack on a gas pipeline, a charge dismissed by Ukraine as fabricated.

The Moscow Times, 6 September 2021: Ukraine has accused Russian security agents of detaining dozens of Crimean Tatars in what it called an ongoing crackdown on individuals who oppose Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.

RFE/RL, 7 September 2021: Russia’s domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Security Bureau (FSB), has accused five detained Crimean Tatar activists of sabotaging a gas pipeline one day after Ukraine dismissed the charges as fabricated.

Human Rights Watch, 7 September 2021: In today’s Crimea, to be a member of the Crimean Tatar community is to be a target for the authorities. In the early hours of September 4, Russia’s security services raided the house of Nariman Dzhelyal, a deputy chairman of the Crimean Tatar representative body, Mejlis.

RFE/RL, 8 September 2021: Moscow-imposed authorities in Ukraine’s Crimea region have detained another Crimean Tatar after his home was searched. The Crimean Solidarity public group said that police detained Eldar Menseitov on September 7 after searching his home in the town of Molodizhne, near the Crimean capital, Simferopol.

Human Rights in Ukraine, 10 September 2021: Refat Chubarov, Chair of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, or Representative Assembly, wrote on 9 September that Ukraine’s international partners should be in no doubt that Russia is testing the ability of the international Crimea Platform and the willingness of all its participants to uphold the values they affirmed at the inaugural meeting of the Platform.

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