On Monday, April 24, in Vienna, the Crimean Tatar Resource Center held a side event on the topic “Large-scale practice of torture and ill-treatment under Russian occupation: Crimean examples”.
As you know, on February 24, 2022, Russia launched a full-scale and open military aggression against Ukraine. Russian-controlled troops and mercenaries are carrying out gross violations of international humanitarian law, torture and humiliating treatment in Ukraine.
- Torture and ill-treatment in Russian-occupied Crimea since 2014 as a form of racial discrimination, and ill-treatment in Russian-occupied southern Ukraine since 2022 as a tool of Russian aggression and state terrorism.
- Torture and ill-treatment of Crimean athletes and the corresponding “Olympic” provocations of Russia.
- Cruel treatment of Ukrainian children deported to the occupied Crimea
In his speech, Eskender Bariyev, Chairman of the Board of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center, Head of the Department for Legal and Foreign Affairs of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, spoke about the first victims of the occupation of Crimea among civilians (Reshat Amet and Edem Asanov) killed by Russian invaders. Bariev also spoke about numerous human rights violations in the pre-trial detention center and touched upon the deportation of Ukrainian children from the temporarily occupied Kherson region to Crimea.
Full text of the speech
Good afternoon, dear ladies and gentlemen!
From the first days of the occupation of Crimea, the Russians used a large-scale practice of torture and cruel treatment towards peaceful citizens.
Thus, Reshat Ametov became the first victim of the Russian occupiers in Crimea. 9 years ago, on March 3, 2014, Reshat Ametov was abducted by people in camouflage uniforms in the center of Simferopol, where he was holding a single picket against the occupation of Crimea.
His body was found on March 15 in a field with stab wounds in the area of the left eye and other injuries. His head was tied with tape, his hands were handcuffed. He has three minor children left.
In the same year, a student, Edem Asanov, was found hanged with massive injuries. Because of threats of reprisals against his sister, the parents were afraid to make any public statements about the tortures and violent murder of their son.
Unfortunately, impunity, insufficient and untimely reaction of the international community, led to the progression and scale of these crimes, which spread to the newly occupied territories of Ukraine and manifested themselves with even greater cruelty.
I would like to highlight a number of categories of torture and ill-treatment:
1.Violent abduction, with subsequent physical impact on people, up to murder;
2.Torture and ill-treatment in Russian pre-trial detention centers, colonies and prisons;
3.Failure to provide timely and qualified medical care in Russian pre-trial detention centers, colonies and prisons;
4. Illegal staging of political prisoners, when a person is placed in a narrow cell in a car measuring 60*60 cm and transported from Crimea to the territory of Russia. During the trip, which takes 12 hours, they do not stop so that a person can go to the toilet;
Mass detention of people, keeping them in specially equipped basements for the so-called re-education;
Forcible militarization of children. Also, children are inclined to support Russia’s war crimes against Ukraine.
Forced deportation of children, psycho-emotional and physical pressure on them. Attempts at deprivation of parental rights and forced assimilation;
Forcible evacuation of people, which is implemented in Russian legislation and can pose a threat to the population of the temporarily occupied territories;
My colleagues will talk about all the categories in more detail, but I want to focus on the case of the Simferopol pre-trial detention center and the deportation of children from the Kherson and Zaporizhye regions.
Description of a political prisoner: A beaten man whose clothes were all wet, including urine, was brought to the cell and thrown on the floor. He was given water and food. When asked who he was? What was his name? Out of fear, the man was afraid to even say his name. As it turned out later, this is a former collection officer from Kherson.
The workers of the Simferopol pre-trial detention center say that we can do whatever we want and we won’t get anything for it. Because their grandfathers used to treat our grandfathers like these here in the 30s of the last century, and now they are doing the same only these days.
The issue of children taken from the newly occupied territories to the occupied Crimea and the Russian Federation remains relevant.
We recorded that 1,939 children were taken from the occupied territories of the Kherson region to Yevpatoria and placed in children’s camps, 48 children were placed in Simferopol in Elochka, 34 children were taken to Anapa in the Russian Federation. In the newly occupied territories, the occupiers conduct mass medical examinations of children and take them to Russia for alleged treatment.
1. The vast majority of deported children are not orphans as they have parents on the mainland of Ukraine;
2. Children are in a difficult psychological state, scared, quarreling with each other;
About 14 children brought to the “Elochka” orphanage were identified by photographs published on the website “Adoption in the Moscow region”
If the parents do not contact the children within 6 months, the occupation administration deprives them of parental rights.
Let me remind you that the Geneva Convention on the Protection of the Civilian Population in Wartime prohibits the transfer of children from the territory of hostilities to the territory of the aggressor state. They should be given humanitarian corridors to the safe zone of their native country or to a neutral country.
The decision of the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the authorized representative of the President of Russia for the affairs of the child Maria Lvova-Belova is the result of the systematic and painstaking work of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center team.