Statement by the Crimean Tatar Resource Center in connection with mass searches and detentions of the Crimean Tatar activists on March 11

March 11, 2020

On Wednesday, March 11, Russian security forces conducted searches in  the Crimean Tatars dwellings in Bakhchisaray and Bakhchisaray district. It is known about the searches in the dwellings of Seitumer Seitumerov, Shukri Seitumerov, Amet Suleymanov, Seidamet Mustafayev, Rustem Seitmemetov, Ayder Suleymanov and Seitumer Seitumerov.

The searches were conducted at the following addresses:

1) Seidamet Mustafayev – Bakhchisaray, 17, Yashlyk str.

2) Shukri Seitumerov – Bakhchisaray, Basenka str.

3) Seitumer Seitumerov – Bakhchisaray, Basenka str.

4) Rustem Seitmemetov – Bakhchisaray, 37, Rosa Luxemburg str.

5) Amet Suleymanov – Bakhchisaray, 3, Istorychnyi lane

6) Ayder Suleymanov – Bakhchisaray district, village of Kholmivka, 1 A,  Myru str.

7) Seitumer Seitumerov – Bakhchisaray, 77, Richkova str.

Seitumer Seitumerov, Amet Seleymanov, Rustem Seitmemetov, Osman Seitmemetov are charged with Part 2 of Art. 205.5 of the Criminal Code, Seitumer Seitumerov (in 2018 forced to leave Crimea) has Part 1 of Art. 205.5 of the Criminal Code incriminated. The detainees are accused of organizing activities and membership in the Muslim organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is unreasonably recognized as extremist and terrorist in the Russian Federation.

During the searches and detentions, the rights of the victims were violated. In particular, while entering the dwellings, security officers damaged the doors and other property (especially in the dwelling of Seitumer Seitumerov's mother, whose son was forced toflee Crimea in 2018), search of Ayder Suleimanov's dwelling was carried out in his absence. Also, during these searches, some prohibited books were planted. During  the investigative actions the victims were forbidden to speak in their native Crimean Tatar language, their passports and phones were confiscated. The search was also conducted in Amet Suleimanov’s shop. No relatives were admitted to his wife during the search, despite the fact that she is pregnant and  one of her three children is seriously ill. In the course of the so-called investigative actions, Enver Mustafayev (Seidamet Mustafayev's father) was also detained because his son was absent when the security forces arrived.

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

Such a policy of the Russian Federation is a demonstration of the fight against freedom of expression and belief, as well as the religious and political beliefs of people in the occupied Crimea.

The Russian Federation is misusing its legislation for political purposes, in particular to suppress the non-violent struggle of the Crimean Tatars and their protest against the occupation of Crimea.

The Crimean Tatar Resource Center demands the immediate release of  all political prisoners of Crimea.

The Crimean Tatar Resource Center calls on the international community, international human rights organizations to step up pressure on the Russian Federation and the occupying power of Crimea to end political persecution on the peninsular.

Press service of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center