Crimean Tatars Organisation Appeals to UN Special Representative for Human Rights Defenders
Statement by Nadir Bekir, President of the Foundation for
Research and Support of Indigenous Peoples of Crimea to Hina Jilani, UN Special
Representative on the Issues of Human Rights Advocates
Kurtseit Abdullaev, Human Rights defender, resides in Simferopol, Autonomous Republic of the Crimea, Ukraine.
Kurtseit Abdullaev is an activist of the national movement, the delegate of Qurultay of the Crimean Tatar people, the member of the working group on the prevention of the interethnic conflicts by the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea.
Kurtseyit Abdullaev, the delegate of the Qurultay of the Crimean Tatar People was accused allegedly in attack on cameraman of the Russian TV Company ORT in Simeiz settlement on the South Coast of the Crimea.
The main point of the accident was that Yanaky - the son-in-law of Leonid Grach, the Chairperson of Verkhovna Rada of the Crimean Autonomous Republic in 1998-2002 took some hectares of land near Simeiz settlement (Yalta) and built there without permission the Aquapark and made huge, illegal and untaxed income. The group of landless Crimean Tatars started an action of protest near the Aquapark and set the camps and light summer constructions. All this was called “Glade of Protest” and was an action similar to the camp village on the central square in Kiev or other similar pickets.
Without having legal document on land in that period (later, supposedly for bribes he corrected the documents and produced them with the prior date), without applying to the court and having no court order, Yanaky engaged a group of bandits, among the civil population, called themselves the Crimean Cossacks , who together with militia on March 5 – 7, 2004 came to the action of protest and destroyed the constructions on the “Glade of Protest”.
It was an evident illegality and provocation. The intention was that the Crimean Tatars would resist and they could be arrested for the resistance to the militia. For shooting of this act, in order to influence the public opinion the militia officials and cameraman and reporter to the Public Russian Television (ORT) were invited.
Kurtseyit Abdullaev, who time to time visited this glade was there on March 5. In respond to his request to name themselves nobody show any reaction. The reporter didn’t show his certificate, didn’t name himself and didn’t explained the aim of the shooting and refused to leave the paled territory. In this very time the massacre was in progress. Kurtseyit Abdullaev who fairly regarded the actions of the anonymous operator (who appeared to be Mr. Pogorely) and who didn’t name himself and didn’t show any certificate, as the part of the provocation and explicit illegality. Kurtseyit tried to put the cameraman out of the camp, that lately was regarded as the attack on the journalist.
From juridical point of view it wasn’t the attack on the journalist, because nobody name himself a journalist, and the very actions of the cameraman of ORT was aimed at finding the cause to legal prosecution of the protesters. According to the eyewitnesses the cameraman was drunk, that, of course wasn’t ascertained in the course of the official legal investigation. Strikingly, the national body of Ukraine – Militia – took active part in the provocation actions, organized by the pro Russian political forces of the Crimea together with the foreign citizens.
For the first weeks of 2004 in Simferopol the youth gangs with Nazi symbolism started to show themselves more and more explicitly. They appeared in the places, where it was possible to meet the Crimean Tatar youth, to provoke the conflicts, to frighten the Crimean Tatars, to draw swastika on the walls of the buildings, etc.
March 16, 2004 the Feodosiya town newspaper “Kafa” published the interview with the member of the skinhead gang in Feodosiya, who said: “We are Russian fascists fight and will fight for the purity of the Russian blood. That the Crimea became part Russia. Yes, we are not numerous, but our ranks are growing”. The interview was accompanied by the photo with the swastika on the wall and the inscription “We already here!”, “The Crimea is for Russians!”.
Instead of the fear they had the opposite reaction. After several minor conflicts, including wit the Crimean Tatar students, on March 18, 2004 the several hundreds of students – the Crimean Tatars gathered on the meeting by the Turida National University (Yaltiska str.), after which they were going to walk around the town in search of the gangs of skinheads. However it was prevented by the delegates of Qurulay Kurtseyit Abdullaev, Ibragim Zinedinov and some members of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people. The students demanded the appearance of Mr. Ryzhkov, the Head of the town body of the internal affairs. He didn’t appear, but the representatives of the town body of the Ministry of the internal affairs of Ukraine, who were present on the meeting asked to allow them one week to settle the situation. The meeting ended peacefully.
March 23, 2004 the group of skinheads started the fight with the group of youth, mixed on its ethnic origin (Crimean Tatars, Russians, Ukrainians) in the center of the town. In the course of this fight Dilyaver Maksudov was injured by a knife. He was taken to the hospital by his friends. After this accident, two hours later the group of other people, presumably of the Crimean Tatar nationality, gathered and headed to the pub “Cotton”, famous as the place where the skinheads meet. One more fight took place, in the course of which some skinheads were injured.
One of the activists of the Crimean Tatar national movement, the delegate of Qurultay Kurtseyit Abdullaev, who was informed by someone on the phone about this intention, came to the place in order to try to prevent the clash. He managed to do it partly, because he is quite well known among the Crimean Tatars. He often dealt with the settling of various conflicts and is held in respect among the Crimean Tatar youth. Moreover he is the official member of the working group on the prevention on the interethnic conflicts by the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea. The law enforcement agencies, though they were informed in advance about the tension in the center of the town (V. Serdenko, Deputy Head of the Main Body of the Ministry of the Internal Affairs of Ukraine in the Crimea called by the phone and was explained the situation by the member of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people), any actions weren’t made to prevent the escalation of the conflict, though they had enough time for this.
However, later on they started to arrest, and finally tried to represent as guilty those Crimean Tatars, who they just find friends or acquaintances of the injured Dilyaver Maksudov, including those who had the confirmed alibi. Finally, the criminal trial on this case appeared to be the evidently fixed political process, having its aim to frighten the Crimean Tatars and to encourage racist and proracist organizations like skinheads and so called “Crimean Cossacks”. The pretrial investigation and the court in necessary cases falsified the evidences, refused the defense in the obtaining proofs, organized the assault and battery of the persons under investigation.
The convicted Crimean Tatars are held in the investigation cell from the end of March 2004. Their guilt wasn’t proved. Their condition is used like a form of pressure on the Crimean Tatar people, who supported the democratic choice and the independence of Ukraine.
For example, Kurtseyit Abdullaev was a person, who on his own initiative, in spite of the threads from Ukrainian Militia to call him to account for hooliganism, in Autumn of 1994 first in the Crimea put the Ukrainian State flag in front of the state establishment – Simferopol State Executive Committee. Until this moment there was not any Ukrainian flag under or in front of the State establishment in the Crimea.
6 persons are convicted, all of them the Crimean Tatars. Terms vary from 1,5 years - the injured Dilyaver Maksudov, 7-8 years - others, and 9 years – Kurtseyit Abdullaev. In details all the circumstances of the case are analyzed in the Appeal (attached). However, considering, that the process has the political nature, ordered by the Crimean authorities famous for its abuse towards the Crimean Tatars and the land property in the Crimea, there are no reasons to expect the impartiality of the court of appeal, consisting of the same racists, who have the common corruption interests with those who ordered this case. One of the convicted Crimean Tatars was beaten severely in the investigation cell by the undetermined persons, hiding under the masks. The administration of the investigation cell tries to cover up this fact.
The convicted Crimean Tatars are kept in the investigation cell from the end March 2004. Their guilt wasn’t proved in fact. Their condition is used as a kind of pressure on the Crimean Tatar people, who supports the democratic choice and the independence of Ukraine.
Today the appeal on the decision of the local court of Central region of Simferopol and the Court of appeal of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea. More over, as a sign of protest against the arbitrariness of the state law enforcement agencies (Militia, Office of Public Prosecutor) and court administration, was filed to the Supreme Court of Ukraine, the tent camp was set before the building of the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of the Crimea. The arbitrariness, caused by the state agencies and the court administration was repeatedly covered in the Mass Media. There were the attempts to draw Omdudsman of Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, N.I. Karpacheva to the investigation of this case. However, up to this moment there is no any reaction on her part to the claim of the activists of the Crimean Tatar national movement, including the deputy of Ukraine, M.Jemilev.
From the moment of the return of the Crimean Tatars to their native land, to the Crimea, we faced the hostile attitude of the Russian population and, accordingly, state bodies. Trying to protect their rights, the Crimean Tatars, the Crimean Tatars were made to start fighting, that lead the activists of the Crimean Tatar national movement, including Kurtseyt Abdullaev. The state authorities, in particular, law enforcement agtncies (Ministry of Internal affairs, Office of Public Prosecutor, security service) use all possibilities to discredit and to suppress the activity of the human rights advocates, the activists of the national movement, using falsified and various provocations.
The accusation of Kurtseyt Abdullaev and 5 more Crimean Tatars is the most typical and indicative case of prosecution and punishment of state against the human rights advocates.
With all my respect,
President of the Foundation for Research and Support of Indigenous Peoples of Crimea