Legal Case of the Week: The on-going trial of Crimean Tatar Azamat Eyupov

Week-ending 17 September 2021

Photo of Azamat Eyupov: Crimean Tatar Resource Centre

Veteran of the Crimean Tatar national movement Azamat Eyupov is on trial in Russia, facing a 15-20-year sentence on charges of ‘organising the activities of a terrorist organisation’ (Article 205.5, Part 1, of the Russian Criminal Code) for involvement in the banned organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir. The defendant claims that the basis for his prosecution has been fabricated: he contends that ‘prohibited literature’ was planted in his home by the FSB and the voice on a taped conversation is not his. Hizb ut-Tahrir does not advocate violence and Memorial Human Rights Centre believes the designation of the organisation as ‘terrorist’ is unlawful. Memorial Human Rights Centre classifies all those deprived of liberty on the basis of such charges as political prisoners.

Sources and related news:

Human Rights in Ukraine, 15 September 2021: Another veteran of the Crimean Tatar national movement has gone on trial in Russia on charges that the renowned Memorial Human Rights Centre has already recognized as politically motivated.  58-year-old Azamat Eyupov is facing a 15-20-year sentence without any crime, and on the basis of ‘prohibited literature’ planted when the FSB burst into his home at 4 a.m. on 17 February 2021 and because of a taped conversation although the voice on the tape is not his.

Human Rights in Ukraine, 13 September 2021: The European Court of Human Rights has demanded that Russia provide information regarding its treatment of Crimean Tatar Mejlis leader Nariman Dzhelyal and Asan Akhtemov (or Akhtem).  The questions concern both access to a lawyer of their choice and medical examinations and are of critical importance since both Asan Akhtemov and his cousin, Aziz Akhtemov, have been prevented from seeing an independent lawyer for over a week.  There are extremely strong grounds for assuming that both cousins gave videoed ‘confessions’ under torture, and that they remain in danger of such torture until allowed to see proper lawyers.

FIDH, 14 September 2021: The Observatory has been informed about the arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Nariman Dzhelyal, an indigenous and minority rights defender and the first deputy head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People .

Human Rights in Ukraine: It was nine days after armed and masked men burst into the homes of Asan Akhtemov and his cousin, Aziz Akhtemov, that the men were finally able to see independent lawyers.  Both men have retracted their videoed ‘confessions’ and have given details of the torture and threats, including to Asan’s wife, that their Russian FSB captors used to obtain them. The surreal ‘sabotage’ charges which Russia is using to imprison Nariman Dzhelyal, the internationally respected First Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis, or representative assembly, of the Crimean Tatar people, hinge upon the ‘confessions’ of the two Akhtemovs given while the men were held incommunicado. 

Human Rights in Ukraine, 17 September 2021: The Russian Third Court of Appeal has upheld an illegal 11-year sentence passed by an occupation court against Ivan Yatskin, a Ukrainian living in his native Crimea. The charge was of ‘state treason in the form of spying’ (under Article 275 of Russia’s criminal code), with both Yatskin’s arrest and the shocking sentence almost certainly because of his pro-Ukrainian position and opposition to Russian occupation. Yatskin and his wife, Gulnara have three small children, including a daughter who was born after her father’s arrest. 

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