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.

Crimean Tatar imprisoned for refusal to ‘publicly repent’ protest over Russia’s war against Ukraine

Halya Coynash
The one-year sentence against Dilyaver Salimov highlights the malignant role played by notorious informer Aleksandr Talipov and the reprisals Ukrainians face if they refuse to 'apologise' for pro-Ukrainian views on video

Dlyaver Salimov in ’court’ Photo posted by Crimean Human Rights Group

Dlyaver Salimov in ’court’ Photo posted by Crimean Human Rights Group

A Russian occupation ‘court’ has sentenced Dlyaver Salimov to one year’s imprisonment on nonsensical criminal charges laid after the young Crimean Tatar refused to ‘publicly repent’ his open, and very strongly worded, opposition to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.  This was one of numerous occasions where notorious collaborator and informer Aleksandr Talipov worked directly with the occupation enforcement bodies in hunting down those expressing pro-Ukrainian and / or anti-war sentiments.

The criminal charges against Salimov were laid back in August 2023 when Talipov posted a video on his ‘Crimean SMERSH’ and ‘TalipoV online Z’ Telegram channels.  This showed a person whom Talipov named as Salimov at a petrol station in the city of Stary Krym expressing his outrage over the attendant’s cap with the ‘Z’ which has become a symbol of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.  The person identified as Salimov uses foul language and threatens dire consequences if he finds the guy wearing “that shit” again.  While the language was, undoubtedly, strong and did contain a supposed ‘threat’, it was the anti-war subject matter that led to Talipov or his ‘Crimean SMERSH’ vigilantes filming the scene on 11 August and denouncing him. Salimov’s full name was given under the video, together with a threat of reprisals.  

On 16 August 2023 Salimov was fined four thousand roubles for supposedly refusing to undergo a medical examination due to suspicion of being intoxicated or high on drugs (Article 6.9 § 1 of Russia’s code of administrative offences).  He was also imprisoned for 14 days on another administrative charge of ‘petty hooliganism’ (Article 20.1 § 1).  That ruling was issued by occupation ‘Kirovsky district court judge’ Anastasia Bodenko.

The persecution of Dlyaver Salimov demonstrates the sinister role played by Talipov and his close collaboration with the Russian occupation enforcement bodies.  The Crimean Human Rights Group reported back in December 2023 that the enforcement bodies had tried on several occasions to get Salimov to ‘publicly apologize’.  These ‘apologies’ are posted on Talipov’s Telegram channels and typically show the victims reeling off statements of ‘repentance’ and, often, of supposed support for what they are forced to call Russia’s ‘special military operation’.  It has long been clear that the victims make such videos either under torture or threats of criminal prosecution if they do not.

Dlyaver Salimov refused to ‘publicly repent’ and by 23 August 2023, criminal charges had been laid.  These were at first under the less serious Article 119  § 1 of Russia’s criminal code (the same ‘threat to kill or inflict grave bodily injury’ but without the alleged ‘motive of political or other enmity’.

The enforcement bodies tried again to get him to make a ‘repentance video’, but he still refused.  It was then, the Crimean Human Rights Group reports, that, on 1 November 2023 the charge against Salimov was escalated to Article 119 § 2 and he was remanded in custody the following day.  That ruling was also issued by ‘judge’ Anastasia Bodenko.  

Dlyaver Salimov clearly refused to be cowered, and was represented by renowned human rights lawyer Emil Kurbedinov.  There were a number of hearings, with the defence appealing, without success, against Salimov’s detention. 

The outcome was essentially predetermined both because the charges were over evident opposition to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and because of Salimov’s courage in refusing to ‘publicly repent’.  On 10 April, ‘judge’ Georgy Davidovich Tsertsvadze from the occupation ‘Kirovsky district court’ found Salimov ‘guilty’ but, rather than the 2.5 year sentence demanded by the prosecution, sentenced him to one year in a low-security penal colony. 

See also:

Chilling déjà vu as Russia uses Crimean SMERSH to hunt down supporters of Ukraine in occupied Crimea

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