Ukraine. Illegally annexed Crimea and Donbas report. February 01-12, 2018

  1. Crimea in 2017: 16 political prisoners, 46 arrests, and 286 detentions – report by Crimean Tatar Resource Center

A Crimean Tatar NGO summarizes the human rights violations on the annexed peninsula throughout 2017. A special focus of repressions is on Crimean Tatars, the human rights defenders claim.

Four deaths, 16 political prisoners, 286 detentions, 340 interrogations, 62 searches, 46 arrests, and 104 fines – this is the summary of the year 2017 for the Crimeans not loyal to the occupational authorities as reported based on the monitoring results of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center.

“A conclusion that comes from this data is that the occupational authorities continue repressive actions. […]  In contrast to the last year we see their actions being more systematic – the repressions are no longer linked to certain dates that are important to the Crimean Tatar people and Ukrainians,” said Eskender Bariev, member of Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people and Chairman of the Board of the Crimean Tatar Resource Center at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

The highest number of detentions and interrogations took place in April and October 2017 (74 and 56 detentions as well as 74 and 61 interrogations respectively), the highest number of searches were recorded in October-November (12 and 19 respectively). February and October saw the peak of arrests with 12 and 10 cases respectively.

Out of the four deceased persons, two died under unclear circumstances, deaths of another two persons came as an indirect result of the actions by Russian law enforcement. Vitaliy Arsenyuk, missionary of Jehova’s Witnesses that was arrested by the occupational authorities, died on June 27 after the court hearing. The veteran of the Crimean Tatar national movement Vedzhie Kashka died on November 27 as she was being detained by the Russian Federation law enforcement. Mudessir Isayev and Enver Avush were found dead in March 2017. “We list them as the victims but keep investigating the circumstances. I think it will be telling to see whether the occupational authorities will investigate these cases or not and whether those responsible will be identified,” Eskander Bariev said.

Out of the 16 political prisoners arrested last year, 15 were Crimean Tatars.

Five hundred and fifteen violations of the right to a fair trial and of the right to counsel were registered.

The overall amount of fines imposed on the activists exceeds 5 million rubles (approx. $89,000). The biggest fine – 3,5 million rubles (approx. $62,000), was imposed on Redvan Suleimanov, one of the suspects in the “Ukrainian subversives” case. Zarema Umerova was fined 300.000 rubles (approx. $5,000) for her comments on the social media. However, the majority of the fines amounted to 10-20 thousand rubles (approx. $178-355).

Forty-three cases when the freedom of assembly was violated were registered. Some of the cases concern the events set to commemorate the birthday of Taras Shevchenko and the anniversary of the deportation of Crimean Tatars. The majority of the cases took place in October (at least 35 participants of one-person protests against the repressions).

  1. 2. Actual situation in the eastern part of Ukraine.

The situation remained tense in eastern Ukraine.

Russia-backed militants violated the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

In mentioned period militants were shelling Ukrainian troops’ positions in Kamianka, Pisky, Vodyane, Shyrokyne, Novotroitske, Lebedynske, Avdiivka, Luhanske, Troitske, Krymske, Novhorodske, Novozvanivka, Svitlodarsk, Novooleksandrivka, Katerynivka, Boguslavske, Zaitseve of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

As a result, 3 Ukrainian servicemen were killed and 19 wounded.

For all shelling Ukrainian troops responded with fire from weapons allowed under Minsk agreements.


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