Russian Security Forces Conducted 80 Searches in Crimea Over 9 Months in 2019 – Crimean Tatar Resource Center

October 28, 2019

Over the span of 9 months in 2019, there were recorded 80 searches in the occupied Crimea, 62 of which were carried out in the households of Crimean Tatars. This number is almost identical to the number of searches over 9 months in 2018. During that period, there were recorded 79 searches, 68 of which in the households of Crimean Tatars. This is the evidence of systematic repression on the peninsula, in particular with regard to the indigenous people. This is reported in the recent analysis of human rights violations in Crimea for 9 months of 2019 presented by the Crimean Tatar Resource Center.

Although in the third quarter of this year the number of searches on the peninsula decreased, the practice of searches remains unchanged.

The new wave of searches over 9 months in 2019 targets Crimean Tatar and pro-Ukrainian activists. Most searches are politically and religiouslymotivated. Most of the unlawful actions of the Russian security forces concern Crimeans, who are allegedly affiliated with organizations banned in the Russian Federation – Hizb ut-Tahrir and Jehovah's Witnesses, as well as with allegedly “illegal armed groups”. Thus, the occupation authorities are trying to discredit the Crimean Tatar people in the eyes of the Russian and international public, presenting them as “terrorists” and “extremists”. Besides, during this period, there were recorded searches in mosques, in the cells of political prisoners, and in the households Mejlis members.

After the occupation of Crimea, searches have become a common practice on the peninsula. These actions intend to terrorize and intimidate those not loyal to Russian government in Crimea. In 2018, Russian security forces conducted 92 searches, 75 of which in the households of the Crimean Tatar people.