Crimean Tatar woman held in pre-trial detention center in Russia for more than 4 months

April 12, 2023

For more than 4 months, Russian occupiers have been keeping Crimean Tatar Leniie Umerova in a pre-trial detention center, who on December 4, 2022, went from mainland Ukraine to her father with cancer in Crimea.

The girl went to the occupied peninsula from mainland Ukraine through Romania, Turkey and Georgia. She was detained by Russian security forces after crossing the Georgian-Russian border, allegedly for violating the rules of the regime zone.

According to the girl’s brother, until March 16, Leniya was kept in the temporary detention center for foreign citizens near Vladikavkaz. The occupiers found the girl guilty of violating the regime of the state border (part 1 of article 18 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation) and fined her 2,000 rubles.

The Crimean Human Rights Group notes that on the night of March 16, Leniie Umerova was released from the detention center for foreign citizens. However, as the girl later said, a car with 4 men was waiting for her at the gate. They grabbed her, put a bag over her head, brought her to an unfamiliar district of Vladikavkaz and left her there.

While the girl was in the Temporary Detention Facility, a similar report was drawn up against her again: allegedly, the girl refused to give her phone to the police. She was again assigned 15 days of arrest. After that, Leniie Umerova was transferred to the detention center in the city of Beslan. On April 9, a protocol was again drawn up against her for disobedience to the police, and on April 11, the Soviet Court of Vladikavkaz again appointed 15 days of arrest.

“The only crime she committed was not getting a Russian passport, being a native of Crimea. Violating the norms of international law, a terrorist country is holding hostage an innocent person, a 25-year-old girl, a citizen of Ukraine. I call on all caring public activists, human rights organizations, government agencies to assist in the release of Lenya from captivity”,- said the girl’s brother Aziz Umerov.