13.12.2001 | Volodymir Pritula, Simferopol

Militia kills a Crimean Tatar


The prosecutor’s office of the Crimea intends to conduct a through investigation of the circumstances under which a 26-year-old Crimean Tatar Niyazi Gafarov suspected of robbery was shot in the Kyivskiy district militia precinct of Simferopol on 12 July. The murder brought the Crimea to the brink of ethnic clashes.

’The case has more question than answers’, deputy prosecutor of the autonomous republic Volodymir Rebrov told journalists. The prosecutor’s office of the Crimea started inspection of the militiamen involved. According to Mr. Rebrov, the prosecutor’s office has ’many question to the militiamen about the legality of their actions, starting from the moment of the detention of the suspect’.

We remind the reader that Niyazi Gafarov got a mortal wound in the Kyivskiy precinct, to where he was taken as a suspect in robbery of a Simferopol dweller. According to the information of the PR directorate of the Ministry of Interior in the Crimea, during the interrogation the suspect unexpectedly produced a knife a stabbed a militiaman and stabbed thrice the robbed man, who recognized him as the robber. Preventing the escape, the wounded militiaman took out his gun and mortally wounded Gafarov.

This tragic accident incited people in the region. Last Friday Gafarov was buried in his native village of Kamenka. The funeral almost turned to interethnic clashes. It became known that a forensic expert found on the body not only bullet wounds, but also many other injuries: haematomas, bruises and distinct prints of handcuffs. On the funeral day a group of Crimean Tatars conducted a protest action in front of the Kyivskiy precinct. They demanded a just investigation of the accident and punishment of the guilty. Tatars blame militia for brutal treatment of their nation.

Meanwhile the Crimean Prime Minister ordered the heads of local administrations and mayors to personally control the situation on their territories, as well as to conduct meetings with heads of law-enforcing organs, prosecutor’s offices and the USS. Sergey Kunitsyn declared that he would not permit any clashes between different nations on the peninsular. He promised to personally control the investigation of this accident.

Emine Avamlieva, the head of the League of Tatar lawyers ’Initsium’, who is the advocate of Gafarov’s family, told about a ramified system of tortures existing in Crimean militia, as well as about traditionally brutal attitude of law-enforcers to Crimean Tatars. According to her, the murder of Niyazi Gafarov is only the top of enormous iceberg of lawlessness, which exists in law-enforcing organs. After the statements of the Prime Minister and the prosecutor about the additional investigation of the accident and the promise to punish the guilty the strain in the region diminished. Yet, the Medjlis anticipates the possibility of further protests.

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