August 10, 2017
Photo Courtesy of Interfax-Ukraine
On 11 September, Simferopol’s High Court will hand down its final decision on the case of Crimean Tatar leader Akhtem Chiygoz. The political prisoner was arrested in January 2015 in Crimea for having allegedly participated in the February 2014 uprising. Mr Chiygoz’s lawyers reject these allegations, saying that their leader’s detention was politically motivated since he has, several times, openly protesting the Peninsula’s illegal annexation by Russia. Akhtem Chiygoz’s trial started on 25 December 2015. Related to this, Human Rights in Ukraine denounced the brutal arrest of a 76-year-old Crimean Tatar on Tuesday 08 August for having showed his support to Mr Chiygoz in front of the Crimean capital’s Court of Justice.
The verdict to the deputy chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, Akhtem Chiygoz, who was illegally arrested in the occupied Crimea, will be announced on September 11, his lawyer Nikolai Polozov said.
"Today, the oral arguments of the parties have ended in the court on the case of Akhtem Chiygoz, during which Chiygoz's public defenders and he spoke, after which he delivered the last word. The verdict will be announced on September 11," Polozov wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday.
He also published on his page the text of the last word of Chiygoz, in which he, in particular, says that there is no criminal case against him, and the country-invader of Crimea, which does not have the right to do so, is making a trial against him.
"Whatever I do, no matter how hard it is for me now, and not knowing if I ever be alive, I'm afraid even more that my actions, thoughts, statements can disgrace me as a person, as a Crimean Tatar and my people will be ashamed for the trust and election of me to the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people [...] I am destined to take up this sentence as a verdict for the entire Crimean Tatar people - on behalf of the Russian Federation that occupied my motherland," Chiygoz said.
Prosecutor Anastasia Supryaga asked for Chiygoz a punishment in the form of imprisonment for eight years with serving in a colony of general regime, the internet site Krym Realia said on August 7.
As reported, Chiygoz was detained in Crimea on January 29, 2015 on suspicion of organizing and participating in mass riots on February 26, 2014. In fact, he was detained for participation in a rally in support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine in front of the Crimean parliament building, when protesters were opposed by pro-Russian activists, including, from the Russian Unity party.
The term of his arrest was prolonged until October 8.
76-year-old Server Karametov was arrested on August 8 while holding a peaceful picket outside the High Court in Simferopol where the ‘trial’ is taking place of Crimean Tatar leader and recognized political prisoner Akhtem Chiygoz. Accused of both an ‘unauthorized protest’ and of ‘resisting the police’, he was held, first in a police station, then at the court for over 10 hours, even after he was taken ill and an ambulance needed to be called.