Statement of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center in connection with mass searches and detentions of Crimean Tatar activists on February 17, 2021

February 17, 2021

On Wednesday, February 17, Russian security officials conducted seven searches in the households of Crimean Tatars in Bilohirsk, Bakhchysarai, Simferopol, Sevastopol and Sovetsky districts , five of them were held in the dwellings of the Crimean Tatars.

Searches were carried out in the households of the following activists:

1) Eiupov Azamat – activist, participant of the protest rally of the Crimean Tatars on Red Square in Moscow in July 2019.

2) Ibrahimov Ernest – activist of the Crimean Childhood project for the children of political prisoners.

3) Makhamadamynov Abdulborii – activist

4) Seidametov Lenur – was engaged in transfers to pre-trial detention centers, purchased and packaged products for parcels to Crimean Tatar political prisoners.

5) Fedorov Oleh – businessman from Bakhchysarai, attended politically motivated court hearings, participated in information campaigns and flash mobs in support of Crimean Tatar political prisoners. He provided material support to the families of political prisoners.

6) Shykhametov Yashar – testified as a defense witness in the court in the case of Enver Seitosmanov. He took the children of political prisoners of the Sevastopol Hizb ut-Tahrir case to the events for kids and women to the meetings of Crimean Solidarity.

7)Yalkabov Tymur – activist, attended politically motivated court hearings and searches.

The searches started at 4 a.m, the lawyers were not allowed to the place of the searches, the witnesses were brought by security officers.

All seven activists were detained. After the interrogation, Makhamadamynov Abdulborii was left at the bus station. Others are charged under Article 205.5 of the Criminal Code. Shykhametov Yashar, Fedorov Oleh, Ibrahimov Ernest, Yalkabov Tymur, Eiupov Azamat and Seidametov Lenur were sentenced to 2 months in custody.

FSB investigators told relatives that the detained activists were included into the case of the second Bakhchysarai Hizb ut-Tahrir group, but were separated into a separate branch.

The Crimean Tatar Resource Center strongly condemns these illegal actions of Russian security forces.

This policy of the Russian Federation is a demonstration of the struggle against freedom of speech and belief, as well as the religious and political beliefs of the people in the occupied Crimea.

The Russian Federation misuses its legislation for political purposes, in particular, with the aim of suppressing the non-violent struggle of the Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians against the occupation of Crimea.

The Crimean Tatar Resource Center demands the immediate release of all political prisoners arrested in the temporarily occupied Crimea.

The Crimean Tatar Resource Center calls on the international community to increase pressure on the Russian Federation and the occupation authorities of Crimea in order to end political persecution, as well as to introduce personal sanctions against persons involved in human rights violations in the temporarily occupied Crimea.

Press Service of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center