war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

Similar articles

Racist grounds given for mass persecution of Crimean Tatars in occupied CrimeaMass ‘trials’ of Crimean Tatars for legal pickets against repression in Russian-occupied CrimeaCrimean Tatars prosecuted for legal pickets and the truth about persecution in Russian-occupied CrimeaRussia hunts ‘organizers’ of Crimean Tatar solitary pickets against repression49 Crimean Tatars detained for legal pickets demanding an end to persecutionRussia fights civic activists & Crimean Tatar solidarity with terrorism chargesMass detention for reporting armed searches and arrests in Russian occupied CrimeaInstilling Terror: More Armed Searches & Abduction-like Arrests in Russian-occupied CrimeaArmed searches & jail for deleted reposts to silence protest in Russian-occupied CrimeaCrimean Tatar activist jailed for video posted 7 years ago in new wave of repressionCrimean Tatar activist abducted by masked men from outside courtLast jailed Crimean Tatar activist freed, repression continuesRussian TV shows fake ’anti-terror operation’ to hide arrests of Crimean Tatar activistsNew Mass Detention in Russian-occupied CrimeaEnemy No. 1 for Exposing Lawlessness & Repression in Russian-occupied CrimeaRussia resorts to open terrorization of lawyers & their families in occupied CrimeaRussian FSB stage abduction to deprive Crimean Tatar leader of his lawyerRussia prepares new criminal charges as Crimean Tatar leader refuses to be silencedClosed ‘court’ in Russian-occupied Crimea moves to strip Crimean Tatar leader of his lawyerUmerov Released: Only Russia’s Persecution Showed Pathology

Crimean Tatar activist jailed after new armed searches ‘for a video posted in 2012’

Halya Coynash

27-year-old Crimean Tatar activist Girai Kulametov was sentenced to ten days’ imprisonment on January 18 after he and his family were subjected to an early morning armed search.  The pretext for this latest act of intimidation against a young man who was involved in the single-person pickets on October 14 proved to be a video posted on a social media page two years before Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea. 

The news spread very early on Thursday morning that contingents of enforcement officers had appeared at two homes – Kulametov’s in Stary Krym, and the home in Belgorod of Kemal Seityaev, who was reportedly also involved in the October 14 peaceful protests.  According to Kulametov’s sister,  the men turned up, banging on all the windows and removing computer technology.  They did at least admit that Kulametov was facing administrative, not criminal, proceedings, though Kulametov was still taken away,  with friends and a civic defender unable to find out his whereabouts for some time.  

Seityaev was later fined one thousand roubles (a fairly nominal amount) for “keeping a song by Timur Mutsuraev on the social network VKontakte’, which was called ‘circulating extremist material’.    

The charge against Kulametov was under Article 20.3 § 1 of Russia’s ‘code of administrative offences’ over alleged ‘propaganda’ of symbols of what Russia calls an extremist organization, or other banned symbols.  The fact that the video was and remains entirely legal in Ukraine and that prosecution for acts committed outside Russia by non-Russian nationals, proved of no concern to ‘judge’ Roman Vitalievich Milhailov who found Kulametov ‘guilty’ and passed the 10-day sentence. 

Both men were among the over 100 Crimean Tatars who held solitary pickets on October 14, under placards calling for the release of political prisoners and rejecting attempts to treat Crimean Muslims as ‘extremists’ or ‘terrorists’.  At least Kulametov had also actively supported the Crimea Marathon, a civic initiative to raise money to pay the ever increasing number of huge fines imposed for legal pickets or for simply coming out on the street to show solidarity during armed searches of other Crimean Tatars’ homes. 

The occupation regime has already ignored Russia’s own legislation and prosecuted 85 people for their totally legal actions on October 14 (see the racist excuses provided).  It seems likely that the searches on January 18 and Kulametov’s imprisonment were also intended to send a clear message of what activists can expect for their civic position.

This is not the first time that the occupation authorities have dredged up social media posts from years ago as their excuse for jailing activists or lawyers.

In March 2017, Remzi Bekirov was jailed for three days, purportedly in connection with a social network post seven years earlier on a VKontakte page that he had long deleted. 

Prominent human rights lawyer Emil Kurbedinov was also detained after armed searches of his offices and home and then sentenced to 10 days’ imprisonment linked to a video posted quite legally in 2013. 

 Share this