Lawyer Emil Kurbedinov & activists detained after family of tortured Crimean Tatar recognize FSB abductor
12 Crimean Tatar activists, as well as prominent lawyer Emil Kurbedinov and journalist Taras Ibragimov were detained in Simferopol on Friday after gathering with the relatives of Renat Paralamov, the father of four who was abducted and brutally tortured on September 13.
The police claimed that the activists were holding an ‘unauthorized meeting’ at which they were allegedly chanting something.
This appears to have been very far from the truth.
Kurbedinov, Ibragimov and many others had accompanied Paralamov’s family to the FSB in Simferopol. Paralamov’s mother wanted to see Viktor Nikolaevich Paladin, the head of the FSB in Russian-occupied Crimea over her son’s abduction and the horrific torture he was subjected to.
As they rang the bell, a man came out of the FSB premises who had taken part in the ‘search’ of the Paralamov home. Since the men who carried out this unexplained and unauthorized intrusion had taken Renat away, this was still further confirmation of the FSB’s direct role in the events.
The FSB man saw them and began moving away, ignoring Kurbedinov’s demand that he identify himself. He finally disappeared through another door back into the FSB building.
Kurbedinov and the activists were detained shortly afterwards and taken to various police stations. They were released after several hours, seemingly without any charges being laid, however Taras Ibragimov reports that three men had their fingerprints taken, as well as saliva for a DNA test.
The lawlessness demonstrated in all these events is chilling, as is the fear that Russia wants to provoke Crimean Tatars into rejecting their non-violent resistance to give them an excuse for a brutal crackdown. As Nikolai Polozov, one of the lawyers representing imprisoned Crimean Tatar leader Akhtem Chiygoz, says, Crimean Tatar peaceful resistance “makes the Kremlin nervous”.
Renat Paralamov is a devout Muslim, who is supporting his wife and four small children as a market trader. The children were still asleep when masked men in plain clothes arrived at the family home on Wednesday morning.
Although they waved some kind of document in front of Paralamov, this was clearly not a search warrant, and the men’s behaviour makes it apparent that they did not wish to be identified. The two men who had FSB insignia on their clothes concealed them after a large number of people gathered.
They claimed to Paralamov’s mother-in-law that they were looking for ‘drugs and weapons’, the standard excuse for the searches by masked and armed men of Crimean Tatar homes that began after Russia’s invasion.
They removed a religious book and computer, and took Renat Paralamov away.
As reported, the police who were called, backed off as soon as they spoke to the men.
There was no news of Paralamov’s whereabouts throughout Wednesday, with all police and FSB denying any knowledge of him.
Details of how he was eventually dumped in a shocking state at a bus station, as well as of the torture he suffered here:
Abducted Crimean Tatar beaten, tortured and abandoned after ‘voluntarily’ entering FSB office
This is the most brazen attack to date, but there have been reports of others where men were taken away and beaten, with the aim being to force them to collaborate with the FSB. There is an ever increasing number of political prisoners in Crimea, with men being held in indefinite detention without the FSB having any grounds for the charges brought. With Russia allowing ‘secret witnesses’ and the ‘courts’ usually doing what the prosecutor (and therefore the FSB) demands, it is possible that such abductions and torture are attempts, thus far seemingly unsuccessful, to obtain so-called ‘evidence’.