Feb 15, 2019

Crimean Tatars: Three Activists Detained on Feeble Accusations

On Wednesday, 14 February, Russian authorities detained and searched the homes of three Crimean Tatar activists. The incident happened in the Russian-occupied Crimea, Ukraine. Rustem Emiruseyinov, Eskender Abulganiyev, and Arsen Abkhayirov are suspected of belonging to a radical Islamist group. UNPO condemns such breaches of human rights and calls upon the international community to remain vigilant about the situation in Crimea.

This article was published by Radio Free Europe:

OKTYABRSKE, Ukraine -- Russian-imposed authorities in Ukraine's occupied Crimea region have detained three Crimean Tatar activists, according to a Ukrainian human rights group.

Crimean Solidarity said that officers of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) on February 14 detained Rustem Emiruseyinov, Eskender Abulganiyev, and Arsen Abkhayirov.

Their homes and the houses of their relatives in the central town of Oktyabrske were also searched, said the nongovernmental organization, which has members in both Crimea and Ukrainian government-controlled territory.

The FSB's branch in Crimea said the three activists were suspected members of the Hizb ut-Tahrir religious group.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is a global organization based in London that seeks to unite all Muslim countries into an Islamic caliphate.

The group can operate legally in Ukraine.

However, Russia's Supreme Court banned it in 2003, branding its supporters "extremists."

Rights groups and Western governments have denounced what they describe as a campaign of repression by the Russian-installed authorities in Crimea who are targeting members of the Turkic-speaking Crimean Tatar community and others who have spoken out against Moscow's seizure and illegal annexation of the peninsula in March 2014.

Photo courtesy of Namluk Anton @ RFE/RL