MENU

Similar articles

Unexpected end to Russia’s three-year persecution of Crimean Tatar Regional Mejlis Head Prosecution witnesses confirm testimony’ against Crimean Tatar leader Nariman Dzhelyal was obtained through tortureRussia extends terror and abductions from occupied Crimea and Donbas to all of Ukraine Russia re-arrests the only Crimean Tatar political prisoner it ever acquitted Russia sentences Crimean Tatar to 17 years for solidarity with political prisoners Russia sentences two Crimean Tatars to 17 and 13 years for talking about their faith Russia revokes sole acquittal of Crimean Tatar civic journalist and political prisonerRussia escalates use of torture to fabricate ‘evidence’ against imprisoned Crimean Tatar leader Nariman Dzhelyal Russia seeks 19 and 16-year sentences against Crimean Tatars for talking about their faith Faked tape used to sentence Crimean Tatar to 7 years for refusing to collaborate with Russia"s FSBCzech court to decide if armed Russian paramilitary awarded for his role in the invasion of Crimea is extradited to Ukraine Crucial law adopted to help Russia’s Ukrainian political prisoners and hostagesRussia challenges compensation awarded former Crimean Tatar political prisoner for torture-like imprisonment Russia wants to jail world-renowned Crimean Tatar leader for 20 years on the basis of three "secret witnesses"Vermin, filth and cold in Russia’s torture of imprisoned Crimean Tatar journalists and activists Crimean Tatar veteran’s civic journalist son sentenced to 16 years by Russia on same charges as Stalin used against her grandfather Courageous testimony exposes the torture and threats used to fabricate Russia’s ‘trial’ of Crimean Tatar leader Nariman Dzhelyal Prominent US political analyst thanks imprisoned Crimean Tatar journalist Osman Arifmemetov for reporting on Russia"s repression in occupied Crimea Crimean Tatar told “here you have no rights” before FSB electric shock torture Terror and Stalin era charges in Russia’s fabricated case against Crimean Tatar leader Nariman Dzhelyal

Crimean Tatar Reshat Ametov, first savagely tortured victim of Russia’s war against Ukraine

03.03.2022
Halya Coynash

If the bombing of Ukrainian cities by Russian invading forces is unprecedented, not so Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.  It began eight years ago, with Russia’s invasion and annexation of Crimea and it is continuing there also in the horrific violations of human rights and repression, especially targeting Crimean Tatars.

It is no accident that Russia’s first victim was a Crimean Tatar, 39-year-old father of three small daughters, Reshat Ametov.  His life was savagely cut short eight years ago, and the following can provide no new information.  It is well, nonetheless, to remember him, and all of the other victims of Russian occupation – those who were abducted and disappeared without trace and Russia’s 120 Crimean Tatar and other Ukrainian political prisoners.

It is clear that, even if Russia were to end its armed invasion of mainland Ukraine, Crimea and acceptance of Russian annexation would form part of Russia’s ransom.  This is one of the reasons why, however powerful the enemy, Ukraine cannot fall. 

The words spoken by Lerane Khaibullaeva about her friend Reshat Ametov back in 2016 seem almost unbearably poignant today.  In an interview, she was asked why Ametov, who was not a well-known activist, had been targeted.  She answered that Reshat had had a very clear civic position. He had, after all, come out in protest for the sake of his children.  He had always wanted them to live in a free, democratic country”

We know that Ametov was appalled by Russia’s invasion and tried to persuade neighbours and friends to join him in picketing the Crimean parliament.  The others were too afraid, and told him that he should also refrain.  Instead, without telling his wife the truth about where he was going, Ametov set out on the morning of 3 March 2014 for a lone protest.  He had been standing there, holding a Ukrainian flag, for around an hour and a half, mostly in silent protest, when he was abducted by armed paramilitaries. 

His mutilated body was found two weeks later, on March 15. His head had been bound with tape, and handcuffs were lying nearby.  The torturers had used something like a knife, and he died finally from brain damage after they gouged out his eyes.

Reshat Ametov’s last post on Facebook had been a question: “Russian friend, if they order you to, will you shoot at me?” 

His abductors, who were almost certainly also his murderers, can be clearly seen on video footage, as can the car he was driven away in, yet the de facto authorities under Russian control have claimed that they can’t identify the culprits and at one stage even terminated the ‘case’, with the excuse being that “the suspected killer” was fighting in Donbas. 

In August 2019, the  Ukrainian Prosecutor for Crimea, named three men believed to have been behind the abduction.  The investigators accuse two Ukrainian nationals – 33-year-old Oleksandr Rudenko and Oleksandr Bahlyuk (44)  – of having carried out the abduction and murder, under the direction of 53-year-old retired Russian military man, Yevgeny Skripnik. 

Reshat Ametov was formally declared a Hero of Ukraine in March 2018, informally much earlier.

 Share this