21 December, 21:00
INжир Медиа

Human rights violations in Crimea

Last week, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a new resolution on the human rights situation in the occupied territory of Crimea. Russian diplomats considered such a decision to be unreasonable.

Meanwhile, kidnapping, torture, killings, persecution of religious and other manifestations of medieval trends have become daily occurrences on the peninsula.

The right to live

In May of this year, FSS officers killed Muslim Nabi Rakhimov, who was allegedly on the international wanted list. Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People Refat Chubarov said: "We have not known such cases since the occupation, when FSB officers would have invaded people's houses, killed them and planted weapons, and then announced that they had killed them because they resisted. This is the first time".

In the meantime, much remains unexplained. For example, why was it necessary to attack the house, and not capture the wanted person at the time when he leaves the house. Rakhimov regularly went to religious events, especially during the Muslim holy month, when he helped prepare meals for iftars (the daily meal after sunset or before sunrise). Or why the attackers burst through the door and ran down the corridor, and did not break the window in the room where Rakhimov was sleeping.

In the presence of such questions, the absence of details of the investigation and intelligible comments from the Russian law enforcement officers, there is an assumption that they were going to kill Nabi Rakhimov.

The tortures

Torture of detainees has become a standard practice of Crimean FSB representatives. In March of this year, freelance journalist Vladislav Esipenko was detained. He subsequently unexpectedly «agreed to» give an interview on the government TV channel. During the interview, he admitted to collaborating with Ukrainian intelligence. Unlike government-run broadcasters, independent lawyers were unable to see their client for a long time, and one of them even received a written waiver. Later, when the meeting was held, it was revealed that Yessipenko had been beaten and given electric shocks, and then forced to make a false confession and refuse to be assisted by independent lawyers.

The Akhtemov brothers, who are accused of sabotage on a gas pipeline in the village of Perevalnoye near Simferopol, faced a similar situation. Asan Akhtemov was taken to an unknown location and for two days nothing was known about him. Later it turned out that in addition to electric shock torture, he was taken to a forest belt, where he was threatened with extrajudicial execution. All this was done in order to get a confession against the first deputy head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Nariman Dzhelyalov, who allegedly was the organizer of the sabotage. Coincidentally, Dzhelyalov's arrest took place in one and a half weeks after his speech at the Crimean Platform, an international summit that irritates the Kremlin.

Persecution of religious people

In 2021, eight Crimean Muslims received criminal charges of a terrorist nature for belonging to the religious and political association Hizb ut-Tahrir. All of them were taken into custody and they have practically no chance of being released before the end of the investigation. Moreover, the practice of dozens of other criminal cases against this association’s supporters shows that Russian courts don’t give less than ten years in prison. Not only «wrong» Muslims, but also «wrong» Christians have entered the Russian Inquisition. This year, seven followers of the belief «Jehovah’s Witnesses» from the Crimea turned out to be the subjects of new criminal cases, with one of them remaining in detention during the investigation.

Prohibition of gatherings

Gathering in groups even of several people is dangerous on the peninsula now. This can “create obstacles for the movement of pedestrians” and provoke the security forces into mass detentions. We are talking, of course, not about any meetings, but only about those that are related to the political persecution of Crimeans. In total, five such raids were carried out over the past year, as a result of which at least 180 people visited the police departments.

No freedom of speech

The relationship between local security officials and journalists also remained difficult. In February 2021 law enforcement officers raided the home of blogger Ludwika Papadopoulou. She is from Yalta, and she was currently a witness in a libel case. Bloggers «slandered» the Head of the Department of the Judicial Department in Crimea, attributed to him the leading role in the raiding of an object of recreation on the South coast of Crimea. In August, Papadopoulou spent a day under real arrest, and then the court transferred her to house arrest. She was removed from the witness to the accused.

Violation of the right to private property

Despite the fact that a large amount of other people's property was taken away in the first years of the occupation, today this continues. An example was the demolition of the house of Crimean Tatar activist Rustem Useinov, pending the final decision of the appellate court.

All of the above news is just a brief overview of the main repressions that take place daily in Crimea. Thus, the statements of Russian diplomats about the unreasonableness of the content of the resolution don’t look convincing.