MENU

Similar articles

Russian court blocks evidence confirming FSB torture of Crimean Tatar political prisonerRussian court removes Crimean Tatar political prisoners for speaking their native language Russia begins its most repressive trial of Crimean Tatar journalists and activistsRussia prevents jailed Crimean Tatar activists facing 20-year sentences from learning what they’re charged withRussia uses multiple clone trials to hide mass operation against Crimean Tatar human rights movementCrimean Tatar civic activist could face life sentence for retracting ‘confession’ given under tortureRussian court revokes detention of Crimean Tatar civic journalist, but refuses to release himSushchenko & Aseyev: You helped get us released, now help imprisoned Crimean civic journalists25 Crimean Tatar activists charged with trying to violently overthrow Russia through their wordsRussia uses torture-like conditions to try to break imprisoned Crimean Tatar civic activistsBitter echoes of Stalin’s Deportation in Russia’s persecution of Crimean TatarsSolitary confinement in torture-like conditions for reporting on human rights abuse in occupied CrimeaRussia breaks all records in Crimea with level of persecution of 8 Crimean TatarsRussia brings charges of ‘planning to violently seize power’ for Crimean Solidarity with political prisonersRussia fights Crimean Solidarity with long prison sentences and shattered childhoodsCrimean Tatar Civic Activists arrested in new offensive against Crimea SolidarityCrimean Tatar faces huge sentence in Russian FSB’s ‘machine of wholesale persecution’FSB’s ‘secret witness’ exposed during trial of 6 Crimean political prisonersRussia condemned for launching ‘machine of wholesale persecution’ in occupied CrimeaProfoundly cynical trial begins of Crimean Tatar human rights activist and five other Crimean Muslims

From armed terror to cruel torment of the children of Crimean Tatar political prisoners

08.06.2021
Halya Coynash
(Top) Muhammed Bekirov with a message to his father, Baba (Daddy) I miss you, Remzi Bekirov, (Bottom) Alim and his father, Enver Ametov Photos mainly from Crimean Solidarity

11-year-old Mukhammed Bekirov left Crimea for the first time in his life on 31 May.  Together with his mother and aunt, he travelled 700 kilometres to Rostov-on-Don (Russia).  This was no holiday, although he had longed for the moment for over two long years, as a chance, albeit in a courtroom, to see his political prisoner and journalist father, Remzi Bekirov

Even that chance was taken from him.  The Russian judge, Oleg Volkov, told Khalide Bekirova that “the court fears that the presence of an underage child at a court hearing could adversely affect his psychological state”.

“Seriously?” , Khalide Bekirova, asks bitterly.  “And what about a search at 6 a.m. with dozens of armed officers in camouflage and masks?  What about terrified children who thought that they had come to kill them?

That doesn’t adversely affect children’s psyche?  What double standards!

As a result, our son sat for seven hours in the corridor and on the street, awaiting the end of the court hearing.  With tears in his eyes, he is returning how to his native Crimea to the home, where he has been without his father for over two years”. 

This was not the only cruel mockery of children who have already suffered so much.  On 2 June, the scheduled hearing into the identical trial, running in parallel, of Enver Ametov and four other civic journalists and activists, was first delayed and then simply postponed until 7 June, without any warning.  Halyna Ametova and her son, Alim, together with other wives, children, parents of the political prisoners, had travelled the 700 kilometres from Crimea to Rostov through the night, only to have to return, without even seeing the men, who had, she explains, been brought to the courtroom, and were, literally, just beyond the door.

We asked the judges, via the defence lawyers, to at least let us see our loved ones through an opened door, or to at least allow my son to see his father.  Our requests were ignored. They didn’t let us see each other, they didn’t even let a father and son look at each other. Our Alim is a brave lad, he didn’t cry in front of everybody, but walked away, before quietly pouring out his pain in the despairing tears of a child, and then, upset and hugging me, dried them away.  The child had travelled a huge and gruelling journey of 700 kilometres, the first such big trip.  And all for his father.”

Almost 200 children have had their fathers, recognized political prisoners, taken from them, with many old enough to have been profoundly traumatized by the contingents of masked men who burst into their homes, brandishing machine guns.  Some hid under the blankets, believing the men had come to kill them.  Others, unfortunately, saw their beloved fathers being pinned to the ground, and handcuffed, before being taken away and imprisoned, without being accused of any recognizable crime.

Remzi Bekirov, Enver Ametov are among 25 Crimean Tatar political prisoners arrested on 27 March 2019 or soon afterwards.  Virtually all of the men were active in the important civic initiative Crimean Solidarity, with four men – Osman Arifmemetov ; Remzi BekirovRustem Sheikhaliev; and Ruslan Suleimanov also civic journalists.  Shortly before his arrest, Remzi Bekirov had also become an accredited journalist for Grani.ru, one of the few Russian Internet publications that reports on human rights violations in Russia and occupied Crimea. 

The mass operation aroused international condemnation over Russia’s cynical use of ‘terrorism’ charges against men taking a civic stand and defending victims of repression. There were immediate demands for the men’s release from, among others, the US State DepartmentHuman Rights WatchFreedom House and Civil Rights Defenders.  All of the men were recognized as political prisoners by the Memorial Human Rights Centre

It is likely that the attention the case attracted prompted Russia to divide the case up into five cloned trials, all of them with identical charges, the same ‘secret witnesses’ and other flawed evidence. All of the men are charged only with ‘involvement’ in the Hizb ut-Tahrir movement, a peaceful Muslim party which is legal in Ukraine, and which is not known to have carried out acts of terrorism anywhere in the world. Russia has never provided any grounds for its highly secretive 2003 Supreme Court ruling that declared Hizb ut-Tahrir ‘terrorist’, yet this inexplicable ruling is now being used as justification for huge sentences on supposed ‘terrorism charges’.   Memorial HRC has stressed that Russia has not once, in any of these prosecutions, provided any evidence of “terrorism, or even of plans or discussion of terrorist acts or the use of weapons”.  Russia has now begun adding a further charge, under Article 278, of something termed “action aimed at the violent seizure of power … or aimed at violently changing the constitutional order of the Russian Federation”.  The 25 civic journalists and activists are clearly supposed to have done this with words alone, since none of the armed searches of the men’s homes found any weapons and there is no evidence of any actual crime or intention to commit one. 

The five identical ‘trials’ are now underway at the Southern District Military Court in Rostov which has been notorious as a conveyor belt of politically motivated sentence since the trial of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and civic activist Oleksandr Kolchenko.

Please help inform politicians, human rights NGOs and the media in your country about these pseudo-trials and the methods that Russia is using to silence and imprison Crimean Tatar civic journalists and activists.  Please also write to one or more of the men.

 The letters sent a vital message of support to the men, and warn Moscow and the prison staff that their behaviour is being watched.

Letters need to be in Russian, and on ‘safe’ subjects.  If that is a problem, use the sample letter below (copying it by hand), perhaps adding a picture or photo. Do add a return address so that the men can answer.

The addresses below can be written in either Russian or in English transcription.  The particular addressee’s name and year of birth need to be given.

Sample letter

Привет,

Желаю Вам здоровья, мужества и терпения, надеюсь на скорое освобождение. Простите, что мало пишу – мне трудно писать по-русски, но мы все о Вас помним.

[Hi.  I wish you good health, courage and patience and hope that you will soon be released.  I’m sorry that this letter is short – it’s hard for me to write in Russian., but you are not forgotten. ] 

The following gives the addresses in English.  Only five men are in a different SIZO [remand prison].  In all cases, the men’s year of birth is needed.

Group One

Rayim Aivazov

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Aivazov, Rayim Khalilovych, b. 1994

Farkhod Bazarov

344064, Russia, Rostov on the Don, 4 Tonnelnaya St., SIZO-5

Bazarov, Farkhod Egamberdievych, b. 1986

Remzi Bekirov

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Bekirov, Remzi Rustemovych, b. 1985

Riza Izetov

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Izetov, Riza Mustafayevych, b. 1979

Shaban Umerov

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Umerov, Shaban Izetovych, b. 1969

Two

Enver Ametov

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Ametov, Enver Efindiyarovych, b. 1975

Osman Arifmemetov

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Arifmemetov, Osman Feratovych, b. 1985

Yashar Muyedinov

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Muyedinov, Yashar Seifetdinovych, b. 1968

Rustem Sheikhaliev

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Sheikhaliev, Rustem Dinarovych, b. 1979

Ruslan Suleimanov

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Suleimanov, Ruslan Serverovych, b. 1983

Three

Tofik Abdulgaziev,

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Abdulgaziev, Tofik Sultanovych, b. 1982

Vladlen Abdulkadyrov

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Abdulkadyrov, Vladlen Vasilyevych, b. 1979

Izzet Abdullayev

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Abdullayev, Izet Mustafayevych, b. 1986

Medzhit Abdurakhmanov

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Abdurakhmanov, Medzhit Anafiyevych, b. 1975

Bilyal Adilov

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Adilov, Bilyal Abdurakhmanovych, b. 1970

Four

Dzhemil Gafarov

344064, Russia, Rostov on the Don, 4 Tonnelnaya St., SIZO-5

Gafarov, Dzhemal Abdullayevych, b. 1962

Servet Gaziev

344064, Russia, Rostov on the Don, 4 Tonnelnaya St., SIZO-5

Gaziev, Servet Abdurayimovych, b. 1960

Alim Karimov

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Karimov, Alim Egamberdievych, b. 1994

Seiran Murtaza

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Murtaza, Seiran Kemadinovych, b. 1983

Erfan Osmanov

344064, Russia, Rostov on the Don, 4 Tonnelnaya St., SIZO-5

Osmanov, Erfan Serverovych, b. 1982

Five

Akim Bekirov

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Bekirov, Akim Ekremovych, b. 1988

Seitveli Seitabdiev

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Seitabdiev, Seitveli Eskenderovych, b. 1994

Rustem Seitkhalilov

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Seitkhalilov, Rustem Narimanovych,  b. 1984

Eskender Suleimanov

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Suleimanov, Eskender Serverovych, b. 1973

Asan Yanikov

344022 Russian Federation, Rostov on the Don, 219 Maxim Gorky St, SIZO-1

Yanikov, Asan Aliyevych, b. 1986

 

 

 

 Share this