Week-ending 19 November 2021
Nariman Dzhelyal, First Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis and journalist was arrested on 4 September 2021 shortly after he attended the inaugural meeting of the international Crimea Platform on 23 August. He was charged with ‘abetting an act of sabotage.’ As Halya Coynash reported on the website Human Rights in Ukraine, there were ‘serious doubts as to whether there even was such an attack on an obscure gas pipe, with the only reports coinciding with the above-mentioned inaugural meeting.’ On 22 September the charges against Dzhelyal journalist were made much more serious. He was charged with ‘carrying out an act of sabotage as part of an organized group’ (Article 281, Part 2a (with a sentence from 12 to 20 years), and with ‘illegal purchase, transfer or possession of explosives as part of an organized group’ (Article 222.1, Part 4, with a sentence from 10 to 15 years). On 8 November, Dzhelyal was charged in addition with ‘smuggling an explosive device, as part of an organized group’ (Article 226.1, Part 1, with a sentence from 7 to 12 years’ imprisonment).
Human Rights in Ukraine, 16 November 2021: Russia has come up with yet another charge against Nariman Dzhelyal, First Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, who has been imprisoned since shortly after he attended the inaugural meeting of the international Crimea Platform on 23 August. That meeting, which elicited hysteria from Moscow, was attended by high-ranking representatives of 45 countries and Dzhelyal had ignored clear threats from the occupation regime by taking part and by speaking publicly about the dire huge rights situation in occupied Crimea.
Human Rights in Ukraine, 15 November 2021: The Council of Europe remains one of the partners of Russia’s Rosfinmonitoring, a body heavily involved in the political and religious persecution of Crimean Tatars and other Ukrainians. The Russian agency’s role looks set to become even more repressive with amendments now proposed enabling it to freeze the bank accounts of those individuals and legal entities accused of spending money on ‘unauthorized’ public demonstrations, rallies, etc. In Russia and occupied Crimea, virtually no public event that is not pro-regime receives ‘authorization’, so the amendments would be yet another weapon against peaceful assembly and freedom of speech.
Human Rights in Ukraine, 18 November 2021: A ‘court’ in occupied Crimea has sentenced a Russian military serviceman to just three and a half years’ imprisonment for a fatal attack on the security guard of an Evangelical Baptist church in the village of Sofiivka. This is the latest of several insultingly short sentences that contrast sharply with the 18-20-year sentences passed against Crimean Tatar civic activists who have committed no crime at all.
Human Rights in Ukraine, 19 November 2021: Two Crimean Tatars, Lenur Seidametov and Timur Yalkabov, are facing 15-year sentences on the basis of an illicitly taped conversation five years ago with an unidentified individua, first in a mosque, then over a cup of tea. Although it was the stranger who raised all the religious subjects on which the flawed charges are now based, and at least one of the men can be heard trying to politely end the conversation, the FSB have claimed that this was a ‘conspiratorial’ meeting and arrested the two Crimean Tatars. The provocateur with a taping device is not officially part of the prosecution at all.