The US demanded that Russia immediately release the deputy head of the Mejlis Nariman Jelała and other Crimean Tatars detained by the Russian services. The authorities in Kiev say the Kremlin’s repression is a response to the launch of the Crimean Platform, reminiscent of international opinion about the Russian occupation of the peninsula.
The United States has “strongly condemned” the detention of Nariman Jelala, the deputy head of the Crimean Tatars’ local government, as well as at least 45 others. “We call on the Russian occupation authorities to release them immediately,” it said in a statement, stressing that the detentions are “the latest in a long series of raids, detentions and punitive measures against the Mejlis and its leadership”.
The Tatars were detained on Saturday in front of the building of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in Simferopol. Refat Chubarov, the chairman of the Mejlis, explained that the people gathered in this place wanted to receive information about the previously detained five Tatars, including the deputy head of the Mejlis Nariman Jelała. The Ukrainian spokeswoman for human rights, Lyudmila Denisova, announced that the Russian services had entered the action. Protesters were forced onto buses and driven to various police stations on the occupied peninsula.
The case of “damaged gas pipeline”
The deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kiev, Emine Dzaparova, said on Monday that the previously detained Crimean Tatars: cousins Aziz and Asan Achtemov, Shevket Usejnov, Eldar Odamanov and the deputy head of the Mejlis Nariman Jelał, are being tortured. “According to the traditional scenario of falsification by the Russian invader, on August 23, on the day of the inaugural summit of the Crimean Platform, there was allegedly a mechanical damage to the gas pipeline in Crimea,” the deputy minister wrote on Facebook. The Interior Ministry in Crimea said that the gas pipeline was damaged by “unknown persons”. Dzaparova emphasizes that the damage to the pipeline supplying gas to the military unit could not be confirmed in other sources. According to the report, a case was initiated for the deliberate destruction of property and the blame began to be sought.
“[Winnych] for some reason was found just after Nariman Jelała’s return from Kiev, where he participated in the inaugural summit of the Crimean Platform. According to the fabricated charges, he turned out to be a subversive and accomplice of the crime, and Achtemov’s cousins - saboteurs, perpetrators of the crime, “the deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported. As she added, men are threatened with 10 to 15 years imprisonment.
She emphasized that independent lawyers were not admitted to Jelała and the Achtemovs. “My sources claim that the detainees are being tortured. Illegal investigative methods, psychological and physical pressure are applied to them” – she indicated. “We consider it an act of revenge” for participation in the Crimean Platform – she added.
Odaman was charged with disobeying the orders of a public official. The fate of Usejnów remains unknown.
According to Refat Chubarov, the head of the Mejlis, who refers to the lawyer Jelała, the man was held in an unknown room from the moment of his arrest on Saturday morning until late evening. He had handcuffs on his hands and a bag on his head. He was subjected to psychological pressure. “It is clear that Nariman Jelalov’s accusation under the criminal article on terrorism, along with retaliation for his essential, honest and steadfast stance, which he openly defends during the Russian occupation of Crimea, is also aimed at another Kremlin’s attempt to discredit representatives of the Crimean indigenous peoples. -tatarska “- Chubarov said in a post on Facebook.
Penalty for launching the Crimean Platform
The authorities in Kiev say that the strengthening of the repression against the Crimean Tatars is a punishment for launching the Crimean Platform, a project intended to remind international opinion of the Russian occupation of Crimea. Top of the platform took place on August 23 in Kiev. The meeting was attended by representatives of over 40 countries and international organizations, including the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda.
“Russia has strengthened the terror in occupied Crimea,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba informed on Twitter, appealing to “the partners of the Crimean Platform to increase pressure on Moscow, to force it to abandon cowardly tactics and release all illegally detained.”
The State Department statement recalled that the US reaffirmed at the Crimean Platform Summit that Crimea is Ukraine and that the United States has consistently supported the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. ”
Ukrainian Crimea was annexed by Russia in March 2014. The inclusion of the peninsula into the Russian Federation was preceded by a referendum that was not recognized by both the authorities in Kiev and the international community.
Reuters, Ukraińska Prawda, nv.ua, PAP
Main photo source: Refat Czubarow / Facebook