Ukraine opens criminal proceedings on mass home searches, detention of Crimean Tatars by Russian forces in Crimea

Ukrainian News
Canan Kevser
17 February 2021, 14:53
Canan Kevser
17 February 2021, 14:53

The Prosecutor's office in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol has opened criminal proceedings on illegal mass searches conducted by occupation forces in Crimea and detention of Crimean Tatars on Wednesday.

The investigation will be carried by Crimean Directorate of the Ukrainian National Police.

The actions of the occupation authorities are qualified under Part 2 of Article 162 (violation of the inviolability of the home), Part 2 of Article 146 (illegal imprisonment) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine reported.

"The perpetrators face liability in the form of imprisonment for up to five years. The procedural guidance is carried out by Kyiv-based prosecutor's office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol," the message says.

As reported, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) operatives raided the homes of Crimean Tatars in the early hours of Wednesday, February 17.

Lenur Seydametov, Timur Yalkabov, Azamat Eyupov, Yashar Shikhametov ve Abdulboriy Makhamadaminov, Ernest Ibragimov and Oleg Fedorov were detained.

Background

After the occupation of Crimea by Russia, the invaders started persecuting independent journalists, civil activists, members of the Crimean Tatar national movement, the Mejlis, as well as Crimean Muslims suspected of links with the international Islamic political organization Hizb-ut Tahrir.

Hizb-ut Tahrir is a global organization based in London that seeks to unite all Muslim countries into an Islamic caliphate, while rejecting terror tools to achieve their goal. It is banned in Russia as a terrorist organization but operates legally in Ukraine.

Rights groups and Western governments have denounced what they describe as a campaign of repression by the Russian-imposed authorities in Crimea, who target members of the Turkic-speaking Crimean Tatar community and others who have spoken out against Moscow's takeover of the peninsula.

Russia took control of Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014 after sending in troops, seizing key facilities, and staging a referendum dismissed as illegal by at least 100 countries.

The West did not recognise the occupation in response to which sanctions against Russia were introduced. Crimea remains internationally recognised territory of Ukraine.