Statement of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center on mass searches and detentions in Crimea

November 8, 2017

On November 8, the FSB officers launched another wave of mass searches in the homes of Crimean Tatar activists in occupied Crimea, namely in the cities of Bakhchisaray, Simferopol, Staryi Krym, and the villages of Zarechnoye and Kirovskoye. The homes of Eldar Kantemirov, Alimdar (name on passport – Ruslan) Belyalov, Abduraman Medzhitov, Ekrem Abdulvatov (the Chairman of the regional Mejlis of the Kirovskoye district) were searched, and Seytumer Seytumerov, Asan Zekeriayev, Alim Zekeriayev, Resul Abduramanov, Mustafa Isayev, and Amet Umerov were detained.

The searches were conducted with numerous violations of both the Russian legislation and the international law. Detainees’ fingerprints were taken and saliva samples were collected for DNA analysis, physical strength have been applied to some of the detainees. As a result, seven people were kept in custody, five were released. An administrative protocol on the basis of Article 20.3, part 1 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation ("Propaganda or Public Display of Nazi Attributes") was drawn up on Seytumer Seytumerov, who was also charged a 2000 rubles fine. Abduraman Medzhitov was sentenced to 15 days of detention in a temporary detention facility.

The Crimean Tatar Resource Center states that the actions of the occupation law enforcement agencies were criminal, politically motivated, violated the rights to freedom of conscience, and were aimed at inciting interethnic and interconfessional conflict.

Since the beginning of the occupation, this practice has acquired a systematic character on the peninsula. With the purpose of combatting dissent, the FSB officers conduct regular searches, interrogations, and detentions of journalists, activists, and public figures.

Systematic searches, detentions, interrogations, and arrests are an example of xenophobia towards the indigenous people of Crimea and a method of  its intimidation.

The Crimean Tatar Resource Center calls on the international community and the international human rights organizations to increase pressure on the Russian Federation and the occupation authorities of Crimea in order to bring an end to political persecutions and overturn earlier judgments.

November 11, 2017                                                                                                                           Eskender Bariiev


                                                                                                                                                           Crimean Tatar Resource Center