Crimea: Chronicle of human rights violations September 16-22

Offences against the indigenous population continue on the territory of the Russia annexed Crimea.

23 September 2016 13:20

Russia held illegitimate elections in the occupied Crimea

September 18, Russian citizens voted for MPs. Considering Crimea the Russian territory, the RF had illegally opened polling stations in the occupied part of Ukraine, contrary to International law. Russia has illegally opened polling stations on the occupied Ukrainian territory and included almost 1,5 million people from the annexed peninsula into voter lists, and more than 318 thousand Sevastopol citizens.

Most countries have refused to send observers to the elections in Crimea. OSCE and the Venice Commission did not monitor the results of the voting in the occupied peninsula as well.
Ukraine strongly condemned the conduct of Russian elections on its territory and called on other countries not to recognize the results, maintaining a policy of non-recognition of annexation.

Ukraine strongly condemned the conduct of the Russian elections on its territory and called on other countries not to recognize the results, maintaining a policy of non-recognition of annexation.

September 20, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a Resolution on non-recognition of the legitimacy of the elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation of the 7th convocation, as well as their results and the legal consequences, as well as composition, powers, acts and decisions of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the seventh convocation.

Car of human rights activist spoiled in  Crimea

A human rights activist Yana Goncharova became a victim of hooliganism in the occupied peninsula. The unknown broke windows in her car and cut the wheels, according to information on her Facebook page.
According to Goncharov, she crossed the administrative border with Crimea by car, with a special permit. She came to the occupied territory as a Media Officer to meet with political prisoners, in particular Muslims.

“At two o'clock in the morning we were awakened by the dogs barking and the tripped alarm of my car. Grandmother, two children and I were in the house. I want outside and found my car in such a state. All four wheels pierced apparently with a knife. The window was broken with a hammer; a handprint left on the bonnet. The side mirror is broken. The whole interior is covered with fragments,” Goncharova informed.

In her opinion, the incident looks like "punishment" or an attempt to intimidate.

Activist calling to boycott "elections" detained in Crimea

A social activist Alexei Shestakovich was detained for calling to boycott the illegal elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation in the annexed Crimea, according to his Facebook page.

“Returning from a philosophical conference, I was stopped by four men near my house in Simferopol. One of them showed the identity of a police officer. They wanted to establish my identity. As I showed the passport they offered me to go with them to the drug expertise. I was taken to 19 Dekabristov Street. The officials began to draw on an extremism protocol for publication of "The last video of the Primorsky Partisans guys" in a social network VKontakte in 2010. They even showed a copy of the decree (by the Barnaul Court, I guess) declaring it extremist. The protocols on administrative detention and inspection were drawn up as well,” reads the message.

According to him, after these procedures, the law enforcement officers told him in an informal conversation that he was detained because stencil graffiti calling to boycott the elections appeared in Simferopol.

Russian border guards detained Ali Ozenbash

FSB officers detained the Chairman of the Audit Commission of the Crimean Tatar Qurultai Ali Ozenbash at Chongar checkpoint without any explanation, according to the Head of the Central Election Commission of the Crimean Tatar Qurultai Zair Smedlyaev.

“A few minutes ago, at Chongar checkpoint, Russian border control staff, and probably the FSB officers, detained Ali Ozenbash, who was returning to Crimea. Allegedly, he is taken for explanation or some other reason. Details are unknown. Information was provided by eyewitnesses,” Smedlyaey wrote.

Ali Ozenbash was unreasonably detained earlier as well. September 7, 2014, Ozenbash was detained by Russian border guards on the outskirts of Crimea. According to the Chairman of the Qurultai Audit Commission, he went to the city of Lviv to meet with Mustafa Jemilev, the leader of the Crimean Tatar people and Ukrainian MP, and Refat Chubarov, Chairman of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis. Russian border guards treated him rudely throwing soil in his face and injuring his hand. On arrival to Kyiv he planned to seek medical help. So, according to Ozenbash, the main purpose of his detention was intimidating and bullying him as an active member of the Crimean Tatar community.
A similar situation happened on May 30, 2016, when Ozenbash was going through Russian passport check-point. He was detained and questioned.

His personal belongings were examined and he was said to wait for the FSB officer.

Criminal case against lawyer Polozov to be filed in the annexed Crimea

“Repressions were expected to resume after the elections to the State Duma in the Crimea. And we didn’t have to wait long. Today, I had a call from the Investigation Committee and I was informedabout pre-investigation checks at the request of the Crimean Prosecutor's Office against me. They invited me to give an explanation,” Polozov wrote.

He is accused of the alleged using of  words like "small, insignificant" in his post on Facebook, describing Alexander Dombrowski, the State Prosecutor in the case of the Deputy Head of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis Ahtem Chiygoz.

"According to the investigator Diana Ephraim, the officials have not yet defined the basis of the offenses. Whether it is Art. 297 of the Criminal Code (contempt of court), Part. 1 (insulting the participants in the court proceedings), or Art. 319 of the Criminal Code (insulting a representative of authorities),” he said.

According to Polozov, this case looks "not only like an attempt to obstruct his duties as a defender of Ahtem Chiygoz and Ilmi Umerov in a serious political process by the Crimean Prosecutor's Office, but also like an attempt to intimidate the other defenders and lawyers in Crimea, opposing the repressive policies of the Russian government on the peninsula."

Trial of Ahtem Chiygoz in Crimea: 18th hearing
The 18th hearing into the case of Ahtem Chiygoz, the Mejlis Deputy Chairman, was held in Simferopol September 22. He is charged with organizing an unsanctioned rally outside the building of the Supreme Council of Crimea on February 26, 2014.

Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Ahtem Chiygoz cannot attend the hearings on his case due to the discriminatory rules on the defendant’s remote participation in the first instance trials. This is the first time Russia has applied such judicial practice.

RF special services use migrants to spy on border

At night, September 19, Ukrainian guards of the Kharkiv State Border Service unit of Ukraine (SBSU) detained a citizen of Uzbekistan, conducting a covert video recording, a spokesperson for the SBSU Oleg Slobodyan posted on his Facebook page.

“A young man, 1991, was going to Ukraine via the "Pletenevka" checkpoint in Kharkiv region. During the check, the officers of the State Border Service sent him to an additional check to determine the purpose of his staying on the territory of Ukraine. During the joint inspection with the fiscal and SBU services, the border guards have noticed a hidden camera for video recording instead of a button on his shirt. The camera was linked by the wire with a data storage in one of his pockets, and with an audio recording device in the other one,” reads the statement.

According to the detainee, the devices were given to him by officers of the Russian Federation Migration Service, who detained the man for overstaying on the territory of Russia.
The man was handed over to the law enforcement agencies and the SBU (the Security Service of Ukraine) for a filtration control.