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Russias Crimean Political Prisoners - Ferat Saifullayev

09.08.16 | Halya Coynash

Ferat Saifullayev is facing a 10-year sentence for alleged involvement in an organization which is legal in Ukraine. Russia is using such trials as part of its policy of intimidation and terror in occupied Crimea, and there is also evidence that the mens arrest may be revenge by a former Ukrainian SBU officer who betrayed his oath and is now serving in the FSB. It is likely that the mens pro-Ukrainian position is also a factor.

Saifullayev is an economist by profession, though had a construction job when arrested in April 2015. He has three small children, two daughters and a son, who have not seen their father since then.

The Crimean Tatar Muslim turned 33 on July 21, 2016 in Rostov (Russia) where he, Ruslan Zeitullayev, Refat Vaitov and Nuri Primov are now on trial.

Zeitullayev is charged with organizing a terrorist organization (Article 205.1 1 of the Russian criminal code) and is facing a life sentence, while Nuri Primov, Rustem Vaitov and Ferat Saifullayev are accused of taking part in it (Article 205.1 2), with this carrying at least 10 years.

The charges are based solely on accusations of involvement in Hizb ut-Tahrir, an organization which has always been and remains legal in Ukraine. Russias decision to declare the organization terrorist has never been substantiated, and there is nothing to indicate any terrorist actions anywhere.

For these reasons and others, the renownedMemorial Human Rights Centrehave declared all four menpolitical prisoners and demanded their release.

There have been gross irregularities in this case from the outset, with the occupation authorities overtly intimidating Crimean Tatars who came to support the men at the detention hearings, and preventing the mens chosen lawyer from defending all of them.

The prosecutions case is based on the confused and extremely questionabletestimony of a secret witness, and the open testimony of former SBU officer Alexander Kozhemyaka who appears to have used his new position in the Russian FSB to immediately seek to settle old scores with Zeitullayev and Saifullayev. They had complained back in 2012 about his role in a dispute between their community and another in Orlinove, just outside Sevastopol, where the men live.

There appears to have been a conflict involving the land on which a mosque stood, with Saifullayevs community winning the court case.

Despite the lack of any evidence, there are all grounds for expecting another travesty of justice and very long sentences. International attention to this case is therefore vital. Please circulate the (brief) information about the case here:

Terror on a Conveyor Belt in Russian-occupied Crimea

Please write to Ferat Saifullayev, Ruslan Zeitullayev, Refat Vaitov and Nuri Primov.

Letters or postcards need to be in Russian, and should not contain any discussion of the cases or politics generally.

If it is a problem to write in Russian, even copy-pasting the following will send an important message to the men themselves and to Russia that they are not forgotten.


, , .


[Hello, I wish you good health, courage and patience and hope that you will soon be released. You are not forgotten.

Address (just copy-paste the address, with the name and year of birth of the person you are writing to).

Ferat Saifullayev

344010, , --, . , 219 -1.

, , 1983 . .

Ruslan Zeitullayev

344010, , --, . , 219 -1.

, , 1985 ..

Rustem Vaitov

344010, , . --, . , 219 -1

, 1986 . .

Nuri Primov

344010, , --, . , 219 -1.


see also:
Terror on a Conveyor Belt in Russian-occupied Crimea
Jailed Crimean human rights activist isolated as dangerous prisoner
Russia warned it is occupying Crimea, must stop persecuting Crimean Muslims
When Abduction Turns to FSB Search in Russian-occupied Crimea
Russian FSB jails Crimean Muslims, then terrorizes their children
Terrorist charges to silence Crimean Tatar Human Rights Activist
Crimea is not a closed subject, Putin. Its an open wound.
Russias Conveyor Belt of Repression in Occupied Crimea
Crimean Muslims face 15-year Sentences for Invented Terrorism
A Voice in Europe for the Crimean Tatars as Unrelenting Terror Continues