Illegal searches and arrests of activists in Crimea on September 4, 2018

On September 4, 2018, representatives of Russia-controlled security forces on the peninsula conducted searches at the homes of civil society activist Marlen Mustafayev and Zekkiy Kulametov, father of the Crimean Tatar activist Geray Kulametov. On the same day, fabricated cases against them were transferred to the courts of the temporarily occupied Crimea. Marlen Mustafayev, Zarema, Riana and Zekkiy Kulametov are accused of violating part 1, Article 282 of Russia’s Criminal Code, as well as parts 2 and 3, Article 20 of Russia’s Code of Administrative Offenses.

The Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union considers these actions by representatives of Russia-controlled security forces as disproportionate interference with and violation of the right to liberty and security of person, as well as freedom of expression. The systematic actions of the occupying authorities aimed at suppression, illegal detentions and prosecution under administrative law of members of the Crimean Tatar community have signs of unlawful political persecution.

In light of this, the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union:

  • urges the occupying authorities of the Russian Federation to cease the politically motivated persecution of Crimeans and civil society activists in Crimea.
  • urges the Government of Ukraine to conduct a thorough investigation into the cases of Mustafayev and the Kulametov family and to take measures to bring the responsible representatives of Russia-controlled authorities to justice, as well as to generally resolve the issue of state assistance to persons persecuted for political reasons by the occupying authorities and the Russian Federation.

Thus, on the mentioned date, a search was conducted at the home of civil society activist Marlen Mustafayev (village of Kamenka, Simferopol Rayon), initiated, according to preliminary information, by the Federal Security Service. According to available information, they were looking for weapons, drugs and banned literature.

Yesterday, the Russia-controlled Kyiv District Court examined the case of Marlen Mustafayev, who was sentenced to 12 days of administrative detention for the offence under part 1, Article 282 of Russia’s Criminal Code – “Actions aimed at incitement to hate or hostility, as well as to humiliation of dignity of person or groups of persons based on gender, race, nationality, language, descent, attitude toward religion, as well as belonging to social groups, done publicly or through the use of mass media or telecommunication networks, including the Internet”.

Known that all, members of the Kulametov family were accused of committing On the same day, in the town of Stary Krym, the police conducted a search at the home of Zekkiy Kulametov, father of the Crimean Tatar activist Geray Kulametov. The resolution issued by the Russia-controlled Kyiv District Court of Simferopol named Riana Kulametova, the home owner’s daughter, a witness in the extremism investigation, as part of which activist Marlen Mustafayev was arrested.

Later it became administrative offences for posts on social networks Vkontakte and Facebook published on various dates.

The Russia-controlled Kirov District Court examined the cases of the Kulametovs. Zarema and Riana were charged with activities falling within the scope of part 3, Article 20 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offenses (“Propaganda or public demonstration of Nazi attributes or symbols, or attributes or symbols of extremist organizations, or other attributes or symbols, propaganda or public demonstration of which are banned by federal laws”). Zekkiy, on top of that, was also charged under part 2, Article 20 of the Administrative Offenses Code (“Violation of the established procedure for organizing or holding meetings, rallies, demonstrations, processions or pickets”). The court found Zarema Kulametova guilty and imposed on her a fine of 1,000 Russian rubles; Riana Kulametova was fined for 1,000 Russian rubles for an administrative offense, while Zekkiy Kulametov got 10 days of administrative detention.

Executive Director of UHHRU                                                                  O. Pavlichenko

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