Human rights abuses against Crimean Tatar Community members continue
Human rights abuses against Crimean Tatar activists continue
According to reports, on 27th August 2019 a court in Crimea issued a decision releasing Crimean Tatar activist Edem Bekirov from detention. Edem was arrested by Russian security forces on 12th December 2018 when he was visiting his elderly mother in Russian-occupied Crimea. Edem is on trial on trial for alleged possession and transportation of illegal explosives, charges he denied.
In another case, according to reports, Crimean Tatar Bylial Adilov began a hunger strike on 20th August 2019 in protest at the conditions of his detention. After being moved to another cell he ended the strike a few days later.
On 27th March 2019 security forces raided at least 27 homes in Crimean Tatar villages. As a result, at least 20 people were detained, including Adilov, on suspicion of involvement with the political organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir. The organisation is labelled as a terrorist organisation in Russia, but in Ukraine it is allowed to operate legally.
In June 2019, thousands of people took to the streets in Kyiv, in what is considered one of the biggest pride events to date. The march also hosted discussions on human rights and equality in Ukraine. According to reports, security measures were strict due to potential for disruption from far-right activists. The protest took place with no major incidents however.
On 20th June 2019, journalist and blogger Vadym Komarov died in hospital. Komarov had been in a coma since suffering a violent attack on 4th May in Cherkasy, Ukraine after posting on Facebook his plans to publish an article on alleged corruption in sports schools. The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media issued a statement calling on the authorities to:
"[C]omplete the investigation in a vigorous and swift manner. It is regrettable that about one-and-a-half months after the attack the law enforcement have not yet identified the perpetrators nor reported any progress on the investigation. Violence and attacks against journalists are unacceptable and must stop. Impunity would be a victory for those who wanted to silence Komarov and to intimidate the press. All OSCE participating States should take effective and resolute actions to prevent and end impunity for such crimes."
Great news! Court finally released gravely ill Crimean Tatar activist Edem Bekirov from pre-trial detention. After 258 days spent in custody, he can finally get medical attention he urgently needs.— Yulia Gorbunova (@yuliagorbunova_) August 27, 2019
Keeping him locked up for this long was inhumane.@hrw pic.twitter.com/fT2rM5zyom
The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, has called on the Ukrainian authorities to continue investigating the 4 May attack, which caused the death of journalist Vadym Komarov on 20 June.#SafetyOfJournalists #Ukraine #UNESCOhttps://t.co/qHaUZHHVmJ— UKR Mission to UNESCO (@UKRinUNESCO) July 3, 2019