“Corrective work” for peaceful protest in support of Mustafa Dzhemiliev
One of the people who took part in non-violent protest on May 3 against the ban on veteran Crimean Tatar leader and Ukrainian MP Mustafa Dzhemiliev entering Crimea is now facing a sentence of ‘corrective labour’. The man was fined 10 thousand roubles for protest on the road into Simferopol, and since he did not pay it, a court on Aug 12 imposed 20 hours of ‘corrective labour’.
Radio Svoboda’s Crimean page adds that Refat Chubarov, head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People (and himself now banned from the Crimea) reported earlier that several Crimean Tatars had been fined 10 thousand roubles for their protest that day. It was reported that around 15 cases were still in the courts.
Mustafa Dzhemiliev was initially handed a scrappy looking document on April 22, with the ban it apparently imposed immediately denied at high level in Russia.
The denial was for the record, the ban proved real and on May 2 Dzemiliev was prevented from flying to Simferopol. The Mejlis responded by cancelling all events planned for a festival on May 3 and called on Crimean Tatars to come and meet Mustafa Dzhemiliev on the border between the Kherson oblast and Crimea.
Around five thousand Crimean Tatars arrived and were met by armed Russian OMON officers and the so-called Crimean self-defence’ paramilitary who blocked Mustafa Dzhemiliev’s entry. In order to prevent confrontation which could have led to bloodshed, 71-year-old Dzhemliev returned to Kyiv.
There were also protests on some roads in the Crimea, including that into Simferopol. All were non-violent.
The so-called prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya responded by seeking to have criminal charges brought against some of the participants, and others received fines. Poklonskaya also turned up and issued Chubarov with a warning that the Mejlis could be dissolved, claiming that the protest was “action of an extremist nature”.
Refat Chubarov was also banned from his homeland on July 5. The authorities once again resorted to machinations with paperwork preventing the ban being appealed against through the courts.
In early August Ismet Yuksel, Director of the Crimean News Agency [QHA] and adviser to the Mejlis on Turkish relations was also banned from the Crimea for 5 years. Yuksel is a Turkish national, but has lived in the Crimea for 20 years and his home and family are there.