FSB detains four Crimean Tatar activists in occupied Crimea. What is known

Анастасія Діденко
17:06, 09 February
FSB detains four Crimean Tatar activists in occupied Crimea. What is known
Image source: Кримська солідарність

In occupied Crimea, “security forces’’ conducted several illegal searches in the households of Crimean Tatar activists. After the searches, Ansar Osmanov, Ametkhan Abdulvapov, Marlen Mustafayev, and Ernest Seitosmanov were detained.

Crimean Solidarity reported about it on Facebook.

Early in the morning of February 9, at around 4:00 a.m., in the Bakhchisaray district, in Balaklava, Simferopol, and Belogorsk, the occupiers conducted searches in the homes of Crimean Tatars who took part in the activities of Crimean political prisoners.

“According to our regional activists, in the morning, several houses of Crimean Tatars in different regions of Crimea were searched. Relatives of the detainees reported that the searches had begun very early, around 4 a.m. At 7 a.m. the detainees were taken away”, - the message said.

Analyst of the Crimean Human Rights Group Oleksandr Sedov told Suspilne Crimea that detentions, human rights violations, and imprisonments under trumped-up charges would continue in Crimea.

“As long as Russia is there, the Crimean Tatar people will continue to be persecuted for their civil position”, - the expert said.

Source: Crimean Solidarity

According to Crimean Solidarity, Osmanov Ansar was searched in the village of Tankove (the Bakhchisaray district). The man participated in public initiatives and information campaigns in support of Crimean political prisoners, he attended trials on politically motivated cases in Crimea and Rostov-on-Don.

In October 2019, Ansar Osmanov was detained together with Amet Suleimanov (the “third Bakhchisaray group”) and activist Ali Kerimov on the highway near the Kerch Bridge, on the way to Rostov-on-Don, where they took part as listeners in the Hizb ut-Tahrir case (the Yalta Group).

Source: Crimean Solidarity

Ansar Osmanov’s wife Meryem said that a bus stopped near their house at night. Due to a loud knock on the door, they woke up, and “FSB officers'' forcibly broke into the house.

“Today we learned from activists that searches were taking place in Bakhchisaray, Sevastopol, Simferopol and Belogorsk. Four Crimean Tatar activists were detained during the searches. Now some of the detainees are in Simferopol, and some of them have already been taken to court in Sevastopol”, - Zidan Adzhikilyamov said.

Source: Crimean Solidarity

The strange disappearance of the mobile network also surprised him, due to which the activists could not get through to their lawyers.

“No one could contact the lawyers - everyone’s mobile network stopped working. As a result, investigative actions took place without lawyers. This really violates human rights”, - the activist said.

According to Oleksandr Sedov, human rights violations are the detention and accusation that individuals are members of Hizb ut-Tahrir. He stressed that this is an encroachment on personal integrity, freedom of thought, and religion.

Source: Crimean Solidarity

“Communications were cut off to complicate the work of lawyers and defence. And make it difficult to spread information that someone is being detained in Crimea. They were in a hurry during the searches. They hurried to finish it as soon as possible and plant and find the necessary evidence”, - Sedov said.

The occupiers also detained Abdulvapov Ametkhan. Address: Simferopol, Bile-5, st. Kurkchi 20.

In Belogorsk, FSB searched the house of Marlen Mustafayev. The man actively attended courts and helped the families of political prisoners. He is a volunteer at Crimean Solidarity. In December 2017, Marlen Mustafayev was sentenced to an administrative fine of 10,000 rubles for a single picket on October 14, 2017.

Source: Crimean Solidarity

“Today, searches were carried out in the homes of Crimean Tatars. Two in the Simferopol and Belogorsk districts, and two in the Sevastopol district. I took over the defence of Ansar Osmanov, who was detained today. Unfortunately, all detained Crimean Tatars will be taken into custody. The accusation is the same - the case of Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is recognized in Russia as a terrorist organization”, - lawyer Emil Kurbedinov said.

He reported the disconnection of mobile communications at the time of the investigation of several lawyers in Crimea. The phone was not available for calls from Crimean Solidarity coordinator Dilyaver Memetov and Crimean Solidarity correspondent Zidane Adzhikelyamov.

"My colleagues and I did not have a mobile connection. This is not the first time that my colleagues' and I mobile phones have been without connection during searches”, - Emil Kurbedinov added.

In Sevastopol, in the village of Tylove (Balaklava), Ernest Seitosmanov, the brother of political prisoner Enver Seitosmanov, was illegally sentenced by the occupiers to seventeen years in prison for involvement in the Hizb ut-Tahrir political party, was searched. This is the fourth illegal search of Ernest Seitosmanov’s house.

The man attended trials of Crimean Tatars in Crimea and Rostov-on-Don, assisted the families of political prisoners in resolving social issues, and participated in civic initiatives.

On November 23, 2021, after a meeting with lawyer Edem Semedlyaev, police officers drew up an “administrative protocol” against Ernest Seitosmanov. The activist spent 13 days in the temporary detention facility in Simferopol.

Source: Crimean Solidarity

“Today, around 7 a.m., I learned that the house of Ernest Seitosmanov was ransacked in the village of Tylove, the Balaklava district. I have known him for a long time, and he is one of the most active representatives of the Crimean Tatar people, who attend court proceedings all the time. He already has two relatives detained. Ruslan Zitulaev participated in the first Hizb ut-Tahrir affair, along with his brother Enver Seitosmanov. They received massive prison sentences. The sentences have already been announced, and they are currently serving their sentences in the colonies”, - Dilyaver Memetov, a coordinator of Crimean Solidarity, said on the way to the court hearing.

He also said that Ernest was constantly intimidated and subjected to pressure. The activist said that he was detained by “FSB officers” a few months ago. He was tortured and abused.

The Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol has launched a criminal investigation after illegal searches of Crimean Tatar homes on the temporarily occupied peninsula were conducted on the morning of February 9.

“Today, on February 9, 2022, criminal proceedings have been launched on the fact that the “occupiers” conducted a series of illegal searches in various parts of occupied Crimea. Criminal proceedings were instituted under Part 2 of Art. 162 (violation of the inviolability of the home)”, - the message said.

The sanction of this Criminal Code’s article provides for imprisonment for up to five years.