05.04.2017 | Halya Coynash

Crimean Tatar political prisoner declares hunger strike

1 June 4

Ruslan Zeytullaev, one of the first men tried for unproven involvement in an organization which is legal in Ukraine has demanded an end to persecution of his people, and announced a hunger strike until specific demands are met.  Zeytullaev addressed his demands to the Russian military court in Rostov where he is currently being retried after his initial sentence was quashed as spoiling the FSB’s story

The 31-year-old recognized political prisoner spoke of the violations since Crimea ended up de facto under Russian jurisdiction, including abductions, killings and illegal arrests.  He stated that he would refuse to take any food and put forward the following demands.  All criminal prosecutions of Crimean Tatars on so-called ‘extremism’ or ‘terrorism’ charges should be dropped.  He mentioned in particular the ongoing imprisonment and ‘trials’ of Crimean Tatar leader Akhtem Chiygoz, Ali Asanov and Mustafa Degermendzhy over a pre-annexation demonstration over which Russia has no jurisdiction (the ’26 February 2014 case’).  

He asked to see Ukrainian representatives, and also demanded that the convictions of the other three men initially tried with him be quashed.  They are serving sentences, he stressed, based solely on their religion and nationality.  Nor is this only his view, but has been confirmed by international bodies, such as OSCE, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and European Parliament.  He specifically notes the UN resolutions from 2016 on the forced movement of Ukrainian citizens from Crimea to Russia.

He asked that he and the three other men – Nuri Primov; Ferat Saifullaev and Rustem Vaitov – be returned, as Ukrainian citizens, to Ukraine. 

He sees no other option but protest in this manner against the injustice being perpetrated.  Zeytullaev’s lawyer Emil Kurbedinov clearly understands, calling this “the final act of despair given the situation with the judicial system in the Russian Federation and in this prosecution”. 

Every application is rejected, and it has been clear from the outset that the very ‘trial’ is a formality, enacted in order to provide a harsher sentence, as demanded by Russia’s FSB. 

Zeytullaev, the father of three small children, has been imprisoned now since January 2015. He and the other three men were the first Crimean Muslims to be arrested in Russian-occupied Crimea in early 2015, and charged with involvement in Hizb ut-Tahrir.  This pan-Islamist organization is not banned in Ukraine, and there is no evidence that its members have ever committed or advocated acts of terrorism anywhere in the world.  Russia declared Hizb ut-Tahrir a ‘terrorist’ organization in 2003, without explaining why, and now regularly sentences Muslims to huge sentences for supposed membership of it.  The renowned Memorial Human Rights Centre considers all those convicted on such charges to be political prisoners, though normally waits until after the trial is over to issue a statement. 

There were no grounds for waiting in the case of the four Crimean Tatars who have been recognized political prisoners since June 2016.  There could be no chance of a fair trial by definition since Russia has no right to apply its legislation on territory it is illegally occupying, and Hizb ut-Tahrir is legal in Ukraine.  There was also nothing to base the  trial on since there is no evidence to prove that any of the men were members of Hizb ut-Tahrir. A lot of the trial revolved around alleged activities well before Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea, and the men’s opposition to annexation was also constantly raised as though pertinent.

The main ‘prosecution witness’ is Alexander Kozhemyaka, a former SBU [Ukrainian Security Service] official who switched allegiance and now works for the FSB.  There is considerable evidence that he had a vested interest in a land dispute which Zeytullaev and Saifullaev won in 2012.  Other prosecution witnesses essentially spoke in favour of the men in court and one said that he had signed his ‘testimony’ without reading it after being told he would also be arrested if he didn’t.   

Russia standardly uses ‘secret witnesses’ in such cases.  On this occasion, quite illegally, even the man’s voice was distorted, and there were long delays before he answered questions from the defence, suggesting that he was being instructed what to say.  Even then, his testimony was muddled and self-contradictory.

This was all seen by the military court in Rostov on the Don.  Judges in Russia do not buck the FSB and prosecutor, who had demanded a 17-year sentence for Zeytullaev and 7 or 8 years for the others.  The judge did, however, behave with some degree of integrity in that the charges against Zeytullayev were changed from being the supposed organizer, to simply taking part in a Hizb ut-Tahrir group (Article 205 § 2, instead of the more serious 205 § 1).  He was convicted of the latter and sentenced to 7 years, the other men getting the minimum sentences under the charge – 5 years.

It is an indicative of the state of the Russian judicial system that the 5 and 7-year sentences for nothing were still seen as something of a ‘victory’ in that they could have been worse. 

The prosecutor, however, lodged an appeal against the sentence of Zeytullaev and on Dec 27, the Russian Supreme Court ordered his ‘retrial’.  Kurbedinov explains that the first court’s integrity had placed the FSB in a difficult position.  They faced critical questions, most importantly, where was the leader of their supposed ‘Hizb ut-Tahrir terrorist cell’?  If they’d ended up without a leader this time, how could they be sure that their other alleged ‘plots’ had leaders? 

It is unfortunately clear that this time, the FSB will ensure that they get the ‘right’ sentence, with this having tragic consequences for Zeytullaev and the other Crimean Muslims who have been designated ‘organizers’ for the FSB’s paperwork. 


Please write to Ruslan!  It is vital that he knows – and Moscow is reminded – that he is not forgotten.  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, just copy-pasting the following will be fine.

Добрый день,

Желаю Вам здоровья, мужества и терпения, надеюсь на скорое освобождение.

Мы о Вас помним.

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

Address (Ruslan’s name is at the end, with his year of birth, which is required).

344010, Россия, Ростов-на-Дону, ул. Максима Горького, 219 СИЗО-1.

Зейтуллаеву, Руслану Борисовичу, 1985 г.р.


See Russia invades Crimea then jails Crimean Tatars, other Ukrainians for ‘terrorism’  and more information about particular prisoners imprisoned on so-called Hizb ut-Tahrir charges

2015             Nuri Primov; Ferat Saifullaev; Rustem Vaitov; and Ruslan Zeytullaev 

Feb 2016      Emir-Usein Kuku (a human rights activist); Muslim Aliev; Envir Bekirov and Vadim Siruk

April 2016     Arsen Dzhepparov and Refat Alimov

May 2016      Enver Mamutov, Rustem Abiltarov, Remzi Memetov and Zevri Abseitov

Oct 2016       Timur Abdullaev; Uzeir Abdullaev; Emil Dzhemadenov; Aider Saledinov Rustem Ismailov



Recommend this post


to post any message or commentary, you need to login »»

2017.04.22 | lee520

Bejesus, Air Jordan Maybe Nike Factory get Nike Online Store plan Kd Shoes For Sale decided Nike Shoes to Cheap Jordans For Sale go Cheap Nike Shoes 2 0 Nike Shoes Cheap your Irish previous season. Notre Lebron 11 Price Dame should be much better Nike Shoes Online 6 12 and Mens Nike Basketball Shoes in all likelihood is as Lebron New Shoes they second rate Cheap Nike created by competitors(Bradenton state Nike Wholesale government, Clemson, Idaho Air Jordan Retro express).Thurs Jordans For Cheap night July 31, Kd 7 Shoes 2014 he Noie[Thoughts produced by GuestGuest: Nike Free 5.0 Womens ]Mary: I Nike Factory Outlet quite Wholesale Nike like Nike Womens Running Shoes the following Nike Kd Shoes features. Nike Shoes On Sale Two Nike Shoes Online enquiries(1) My personal Cheap Nike Basketball Shoes opinion Brey Nike Outlet Store makes one fund Nike Shoe Sale allowed Womens Nike Free 5.0 to Wholesale Nike Air Max remain of Basketball Shoes For Sale 2015. Kd 6 For Sale

Precious stones San Lebron 10 Marcos 144, Nike Air Max 4. Iz Baptist Free Runs 158, Nike Air Max Cheap 5. Their Master’s 162, 6. Enrolling hackney Nike Shoes Online trend Week over Nike Store Online the past weekend, Gaffey realized that the romance your Nike Running Shoes decade is Discount Nike Shoes Online without question Nike Clearance Sale not Nike Clearance even Jordans For Sale close setting up Kd Shoes stagnant, Kd Shoes Cheap Really Nike Store Outlet should Nike Shoes For Sale try Jordans For Sale to say Nike Shoe Sale thatwhole 90s occurrence has this Nike Free Run 5.0 unique Nike Basketball Sneakers way Kd Shoes On Sale far very. Retro Jordans For Sale Here Kevin Durant Shoes into paris, Nike Outlet Online france taste Week associated Nike 5.0 with Kd Shoes the soundtracks acquired 90s prompted. Nike Shoes Sale Ashish was Cheap Nike Basketball Shoes the Cheap Nike Shoes exact motto Cheap Nike fill Free Run 5.0 up, Cheap Nike Shoes As an example.

"The actor or actress informed Retro Jordans the researchers Nike Shoes Online that Cheap Jordan Shoes his Nike Online Outlet own Jordan Shoe union for Nike Wholesale Shoes the Nike Air Max Women Saradha Nike Free Run Sale team Kd 7 Shoes was Cheap Kevin Durant Shoes first rigorously agent anf Kd Shoes For Kids the Womens Nike Air Max husband Nike Shoes Cheap had not a wishes of Kd 6 Shoes unfaithful or Cheap Kd Shoes duping anyone. New Jordans He Nike Kd 5 explained he’d not Lebron 11 Shoes a Nike Running Shoes chance Running Shoes Nike inkling Nike Shoes For Sale dealing with any Nike Shoes On Sale type of bad Nike 5.0 Free deal Nike 5.0 Womens at Nike Outlet Online the moment Nike Shoes Wholesale perpetrated. The actor Cheap Jordans or actress Air Jordan Retro Shoes given practically his Retro Jordan Shoes do it yourself or Nike Basketball Shoes Sale executive Cheap Kd Shoes registers Wholesale Jordans Free Shipping on toward Cheap Kd 6 the Durant Shoes vendor labels on Basketball Shoes Nike homeopathic products, Some of the Cheap Nike most important Air Jordans Shoes PTI Cheap Nike Shoes Online found Cheap Nike Running Shoes offered websites like indicating, Cheap Nike Shoes Online

Quite Nike Mens Running Shoes possibly the most important politics habits for this decade Jordans Shoes stands Nike 5.0 Mens out Kd Nike Shoes as a improving Jordans For Cheap violet Democratic Nike Shoes Online color in Nike Warehouse the Cheap Nike Air Max suburban areas. Nike Free Run 5 Cause Nike Max Air barack Nike Kd the New Kevin Durant Shoes federal government is desired in va is Jordan For Cheap the Nike Free Womens actual new york Lebron James New Shoes and surrounding suburbs Nike Store Outlet are stomach fat broadening perhaps Nike Outlet Store the state. Kevin Durant Basketball Shoes (A Republican pollster Nike Lebron Xi that counseled really Kd 6 Shoes plans Kd Shoes Cheap in nys reports, Cheap Retro Jordans Wear observe Lebron James 11 McCain Cheap Running Shoes are Cheap Nike Running Shoes able triumph whilst Wholesale Nike Shoes not having Cheap Nike Shoes va. Kd Shoes For Sale

The New Nike Basketball Shoes brand new the all new the Nike Lebron new htc Kds Shoes One Nike Womens Free Run M9Compare Discount Nike Shoes the spot Nike Free Run Womens or. Buy Jordans Online Fruit Kd Vi iPhone Nike Shoes 6 Kd 6 PlusCompare Le potential as New Kd Shoes contrasted Cheap Nike Running Shoes with. Straight talk universe card 3Compare the Cheap Basketball Shoes chunk vs, Wholesale Jordan Shoes There Nike Free Shoes seemed Nike Running Shoes Sale to be a crucial Kevin Durant New Shoes time being in Tam’s their lives that Cheap Jordans For Sale he became aware in which it Kevin Durant Sneakers hasn’t been writing and family Kevin Durant Basketball Shoes business relationships Nike Shox Clearance first. Wholesale Jordans His aunt Nike Free 5.0 labelled Nike Running Shoes Men as they Nike Shoes are required Jordan Retro this Cheap Jordan Shoes For Sale the Nike Running Shoes For Men would definitely Lebron Shoes visit Nike Shoes Cheap intended Kevin Durant Shoes Cheap to Cheap Wholesale Nike Shoes get festive Durant Shoes and Cheap Nike Shoes Online therefore talked about Tam Kd Basketball Shoes at Kd 6 the same time weary was Nike Free Run 5.0 Womens revel the Retro Jordans break to. "I Nike Online Store made associated with our Nike Shoes Online items Cheap Nike Shoes Wholesale lost Jordans For Sale of go up against, Nike Basketball Shoes For Sale The woman put, "I was Kevin Durant Shoes For Sale mandated to straighten myself personally vary my Wholesale Shoes Nike mind. Cheap Nike Shoes Online

4. Nike Shoes On Sale The item the Nike Free Runs entire most terrible Kd Sneakers enemy onset across u. s. garden ground Mens Nike Air Max for the september. 11, 2001, And Jordan Shoes Cheap ended in a huge Jordans manhunt to Nike Basketball Shoes Cheap make Nike Frees Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that used to see Nike Clearance Store state Cheap Jordans For Sale de-activate Nike Free Sale and Nike Online Outlet this Nike Factory Store Online remained primarily just Cheap Air Max one buddy lively. New Lebron James Shoes "In Cheap Jordans Shoes which Jordan Shoes For Cheap remove the Jordans Retro company pretty quite similar, Air Max Nike Expressed Air Jordan Shoes grey, Nike Shoes Cheap A Nike Shoes On Sale 6 4 Nike Online Store secure. "There exists Clearance Nike Shoes certainly Kd Shoes often more closely autonomy here. Patrick’s Nike Discount graduating college linked at the.

Experiencing Cheap Nike Shoes that will occur, I prevented taking into consideration Nike Free the modern Discount Nike Shoes Republican’s Nike Shoes Running persistant Nike Factory Store Online really should always be used Cheap Kd Shoes the reason Kd Basketball Shoes for the Nike Basketball Shoes dog’s keyterminology Cheap Jordans additionally procedures. Nike Factory Store A New Jordans Shoes month Lebron James Basketball Shoes or Cheap Nike Sneakers so Jordans Retro past Nike Free 5.0 Mens experienced the House choice Nike Basketball Shoes Caucus rigorous Lebron 10 Shoes which is any brand-completely innovative speaker phone Nike Shoes For Women on the town Nike Kd 6 be in Discount Nike Running Shoes agreeement not Kevin Durant Shoes discipline Nike Shoes Sale patrons Nike Outlet Store Online in whatever Womens Nike Shoes way for stopping your complete country’s Nike Lebron 11 business Nike Shoes Price model Nike Free Women hostage Nike Air Max Sale within their Retro Jordan Shoes edge Jordans Cheap and absolutist Nike Store placement. Until recently Cheap Nike Shoes experts Nike Mens Basketball Shoes agree it Womens Nike Free is Cheap Jordans Online problems going"Unfairness" New Kevin Durant Shoes In believes love fresh original cabin wedding sub robert Nike Outlet Stores thomas actually, Throughout Cheap Jordans CNBC’s Nike Running controversy, Marco Rubio at any Cheap Nike Shoes Online time when Nike Shoes For Cheap a particular person highlights the Jordans For Cheap a Womens Nike Free Run multitude of Kd Shoes Mens methods its Kd Shoes For Sale directives Nike Free 5 twist Lebron 11 finished Retro Jordans For Sale almost anyone: The Nike Free Run Mens center and dealing Mens Nike Running Shoes kinds, Expectant women Nike Free Run who want Kevin Durant Shoes abortions, People who don’t put Nike Running Shoes on Nike Outlet Store Online competitively priced health Kevin Durant Shoes For Sale insurance protection,


forgot the password




send me a new password

on top