Four hearings in the cases of four Crimean Tatars – Enver Bekirov, Vadim Siruk, Emir-Usein Kuku and Muslim Aliyev – were held at the Supreme Court of occupied Crimea, reads a message posted on the Facebook page of Emil Kurbedinov, a Crimean human rights defender.

According to Kurbedinov, the accused are being held in inhumane conditions: there are insects in their prison meals and they are suffering badly from fleas and bed bugs.

“The Supreme Court considered appeals of the defendants’ lawyers asking for their arrest warrants to be overturned. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court failed to heed the lawyers’ arguments and upheld the arrest warrants. The defendants also spoke about trumped-up charges leveled against them by the FSS , fabricated cases and inhumane prison conditions. They complained about cockroaches in their food, bed bugs and fleas ‘leaving blood stains on their bed sheets’, as well as lack of beds due to overcrowded cells (causing them to take turns sleeping) and other things,” wrote Kurbedinov.

A fresh wave of searches of Crimean Tatars’ homes was reported to have started on February 11. By searching Crimean Tatars’ homes, the occupation authorities are trying to make them look like terrorists.  Eight of the twelve Crimean Tatars detained during the searches have been released, while Emir-Usein Kuku, Vadim Siruk, Enver Bekirov and Muslim Aliyev still remain in custody. Pursuant to Section 205.5 of Article 2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, the three are charged with setting up and taking part in a terrorist organization. Under the arrest warrant, they are to remain in custody until April 8, 2016.