Lev Ponomarev on political prisoners in Crimea

15 July 2021

Source: Moscow Helsinki Group [original source: Крым.Реалии]

In the photo is Lev Ponomarev, Russian human rights advocate and member of Moscow Helsinki Group

Why are the administrations of Russian pre-trial detention centres incapable of providing medical aid to Crimean political prisoners? How can Crimean lawyers seek medical aid for their clients? Can a political prisoner be transferred from a pre-trial detention centre if they are seriously ill? And how can Ukrainian authorities and human rights advocates help political prisoners who have problems with their health?

Of the total number of Crimean Tatars arrested on politically motivated charges, 14 are older than 50 years old and four are people with disabilities. The overwhelming majority of them are in custody. As a result, the wellbeing of those held in pre-trial detention centres is dramatically deteriorating.

On 9 July it became known that a defendant in the second Simferopol ‘Hizb ut-Tahrir case,’ [activities of the organization ‘Hizb ut-Tahrir’ are banned in Russia] 61-year-old Servet Gaziev, had a microstroke in the Rostov-on-Don (Russia) pre-trial detention centre. A few days earlier, lawyer Rifat Yakhin said that the health of his client, likewise a defendant in the Simferopol ‘Hizb ut-Tahrir case,’ Jemilya Gafarova, had deteriorated again. Gafarova, like Gaziev, is being held in a pre-trial detention centre. The lawyer is convinced that the medical staff of the prison hospital ‘conceal’ the true state of Gafarova’s health. At the end of June, the Southern District Military Court of Rostov-on-Don, due to the illness of one of the defendants in the Alushta ‘Hizb ut-Tahrir case,’ Lenura Khalilova, postponed the scheduled oral hearing in the case.

These and other important current issues are discussed in the studio of Radio Krym.Realii on the ‘Crimean Morning’ talk-show by hosts Taras Ibragimev and Andrei Gevko. Their interlocutors: Russian human rights advocate Lev Ponomarev, International Advocacy Manager of ZMINA Human Rights Center (Ukraine) Yaroslava Yudina, Crimean lawyer Rifat Yakhin, Crimean lawyer Emine Avamileva.

Translated by Alyssa Rider

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