Attack on Crimean Tatar scholar Nadir Bekir
The attack on Nadir Bekir and what was taken suggest that his assailants were no common thieves. The head of the Fund for Research and Support of the Indigenous Peoples of the Crimea was attacked on Friday by four masked men. Bekirthat he trying to catch the train to Kyiv from where he was due to fly to New York. He asked a taxi driver to take him to Dzhankoj, quite some distance away. . On the road from Simferopol to Dzhankoj a minvan blocked their way and four men in balaclava’s pulled him out of the car. It is interesting that from the outset he assumed they were linked with the police and demanded that they identify themselves.
They threw him to the ground, hitting him a couple of times, although they had clearly not stopped him to beat him up. Bekir says that they rummaged through his pockets and one said “correct” when he opened Bekir’s passport. The men also removed his mobile telephone.
After the men left, he got the taxi driver to take him to a nearby village where he called the police. The latter came, took fingerprints etc, but insist on assuming – or pretending to assume – that the men were carrying out an ordinary robbery.
Bekir himself is not convinced. He was forced to return to Simferopol instead of travelling to New York for a UN General Assembly special session on indigenous peoples. He says that this alone convinces him that the aim of the attack was to prevent him from attending the conference. He asserts that his position is not to the liking of the present regime, just as it was not liked by the previous governments. He adds however that it is also not liked by others, and it is an open question who was behind the attack.