May 08, 2018

Crimean Tatars: Russian Repression Continues with Arrest of Crimean Businessman

Russian security forces on the illegally-occupied Crimean peninsula have detained prominent Crimean Tatar businessman Resul Velilyaev in what is the latest of a series of arrests of Crimean Tatar activists, entrepreneurs and political and intellectual elites by Russian occupying forces.  The Chair of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, Refat Chubarov, claims that the retail stores of Velilyaev and another man were raided and closed on 26 April 2018 because of an alleged criminal violation regarding the sale and storage of spoiled products, after which the businessmen were sent to a prison on the Russian mainland. Chubarov continues that Velilyaev was denied lawyers and is being accused of the far more serious crime of “activities related to terrorist and extremist organizations” in the incident which he believes is the beginning of an even stricter wave of repression of the Crimean population. 


The article below was published by Unian:

Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Member of Parliament of Ukraine Refat Chubarov says the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia attempts to accuse Resul Velilyaev, a Crimean Tatar entrepreneur who owns a Crimean retail chain, of "activities related to terrorist and extremist organizations."

"They [FSB] want to eliminate the Crimean Tatar entrepreneurs, who, despite all forms of pressure, remain ordinary people. They do not go out on the squares to protest against the [Russian] occupation... However, they do not bow, they do not echo the invaders, and neither do they support their fake events," Chubarov said on Facebook. He noted that the cases against Velilyaev and other people from his team are the beginning of more threatening processes against the entire Crimean Tatar people.

"The formal reason for "closing" businesses of Resul Velilyaev and Ali Bariev is that they allegedly violated Part 2 of Article 238 of the Russian Criminal Code, which stipulates responsibility for storage and sale of spoilt products... It turns out that the FSB officers came to the stores allegedly selling overdue products, detained the businessmen and brought them to the Lefortovo detention center under an article that is unrelated to serious crimes," the politician said.

Furthermore, Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, Akhtem Chiygoz, on May 3 said that lawyers were denied access to Resul Velilyaev, kept in Moscow's Lefortovo detention center.

As UNIAN reported earlier, on April 26, Russian law enforcers raided Velilyaev's shops of the Guzel retail chain and the KrymOpt firm in the town of Bilohirsk in Russian-occupied Crimea. Following the searches, both Crimean Tatar businessmen were transferred from the peninsular to mainland Russia.

Photo courtesy of Kırım Derneği/Flickr