“Strategy 18 is three years old. Crimean Tatars, we are on your side.” Photograph courtesy of Yevgenia Litvinova
Our indefinite campaign in the support of the Crimean Tatars is three years old today.
Strategy 18 holds monthly solo pickets on the eighteenth day of every month in solidarity with the Crimean Tatars and provides daily updates on human rights violations in Crimea on its Facebook page and VK page.
Today we will again be going to Nevsky and standing with placards. My placard is shown on the photo, above.
The topic of this week’s picket is particularly sad: the Stalinist prison terms handed down to six Crimean Tartars on November 12:
- Muslim Aliyev, 19 years
- Inver Bekirov, 18 years
- Emir-Usein Kuku, 12 years
- Vadim Siruk, 12 years
- Refat Alimov, 8 years
- Arsen Dzhepparov, 7 years
We look forward to seeing everyone who sympathizes with the Crimean Tatars today, November 18, at 7:00 p.m., on the corner of Nevsky Prospect and Malaya Sadovaya Street. Join us!
Russia: Emir-Usein Kuku and five co-defendants from occupied Crimea slapped with long sentences
12 November 2019
The Russian authorities have shown remarkable cruelty in sentencing Crimean human rights defender Emir-Usein Kuku and his five co-defendants to lengthy prison terms on trumped-up charges after lengthy unfair trial, said Amnesty International, reacting to today’s decision of the Southern District Military Court.
“This decision brings to a close what can only be described as a sham trial. Since they were arrested three years ago, Emir-Usein Kuku and his five co-defendants have faced a catalogue of grave injustices. They were shipped from their homes in Crimea to the Russian mainland, accused of ‘terrorist’ crimes, and tried in front of a military court,” said Marie Struthers, Amnesty International’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia Director.
“Emir-Usein Kuku is behind bars simply for speaking out for the rights of the Crimean Tatar community. It is devastating that he has fallen victim to the overt repression of the occupying power. The Russian authorities must immediately quash the unjust convictions and release Emir-Usein and the other five men sentenced today.”
On 12 November, the Southern District Military Court found Emir-Usein Kuku and five his co-defendants, Muslim Aliyev, Vadim Siruk, Enver Bekirov, Refat Alimov and Arsen Dzhepparov, guilty of “organizing of the activities of a terrorist organization” and “attempted forcible seizure of power” (Part 2 Article 205.5 and Article 30, Article 278 of Russian Criminal Code). Muslim Aliyev was sentenced up to 19 years in a penal colony, Enver Bekirov – to 18 years, Vadim Siruk and Emir-Usein Kuku – to 12 years each, Refat Alimov – to 8 years and Arsen Dzhepparov – to 7 years.
Emir-Usein Kuku is a human rights defender and prominent member of the local Crimean Tatar community in Crimea. After the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, he joined the Crimean Human Rights Contact Group, exposing evidence of coercion and threats to the members of the community. In February 2016, he was arrested and charged on the accusation that he was a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamist movement that is banned as “terrorist” in Russia but not in Ukraine.