Tetyana Podvorniak told the OSCE about torture and ill-treatment in the occupied Crimea as a form of racial discrimination

April 25, 2023

After the occupation of Crimea, the Russian Federation unleashed mass repressions against the Crimean Tatars and pro-Ukrainian activists on the peninsula. Detention, arrests, abductions, murders became regular on the peninsular. Unfortunately, torture and ill-treatment of political prisoners in Crimea is quite common practice.

It is very important to systematically monitor these violations in order to have all the evidence to bring all criminals to justice in the future.

Thus, the Crimean Tatar Resource Center has been systematically monitoring and analyzing human rights violations in the occupied Crimea since the beginning of the occupation. Experts systematically prepare analyzes and present them to the Ukrainian and international community. With the beginning of the full-scale war, we expanded our activities and began to monitor human rights violations also in the newly occupied territories of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions.

According to the Crimean Tatar Resource Center, during the occupation of Crimea, 285 political prisoners were recorded, 194 were representatives of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people. We also learned about 60 people who died, 28 of whom were the representatives of the Crimean Tatar people, and we registered 21 victims of enforced disappearances, 15 of whom were the representatives of the Crimean Tatar people.

According to the CTRC, tortures were applied to at least 24 people.

The occupiers simulated shooting, electrocuted, beat, suffocated with bags, put bags on their heads, and there was even a recorded case of murder.

Along with torture, cases of brutal treatment of political prisoners during detention, in pretrial detention centers and colonies are systematically recorded. Political prisoners are systematically placed in SHIZO and special blocks, where the conditions of detention are much worse, the complaints of political prisoners about the conditions of detention, the violation of their rights, in particular, the failure to provide proper medical care, are systematically ignored.

Thus, two illegally convicted political prisoners, citizens of Ukraine, died in Russian prisons in 2023: Kostyantin Shiring and Dzhemil Gafarov.

Unfortunately, these cases do not stop the occupiers.

Currently, according to the Crimean Tatar Resource Center, there are 7 elderly political prisoners of Crimea and 5 disabled people in pre-trial detention centers and colonies. These people are seriously ill and have disabilities.

The Crimean Tatar Resource Center strongly condemns such actions of the Russian Federation and calls on the world to increase pressure on the occupying state in order to preserve the lives of the Crimean Tatars and the pro-Ukrainian population of the peninsula.

Thank you