Political persecutions

Since 2014 Russia pursues systematic policy of oppressions against those who did not agree with the occupation of the peninsula. 

According to human rights watches, more than 230 people have become political prisoners since the occupation and are persecuted for political reasons. 

Today, Russia illegally detained over 100 Ukrainian citizens under politically motivated charges in Crimea and Russia. Most of them are Crimean Tatars.

The Russian Federation trespasses its antiterrorism legislation and uses military courts to illegally convict Ukrainian citizens under the bogus charges of extremism and terrorism activity. The pre-trial investigations and trials take place with numerous procedural violations.

According to human rights defenders, about 200 children of illegally detained human rights activists and citizen journalists are brought up without their fathers’ care. A number of them have never seen their fathers because they were born after their arrests. 

Criminalization of freedom of expression on social networks, interference and censorship of the media and human rights organizations, including Crimean Tatar organizations, torture and ill-treatment, inhumane jail and harsh prison conditions, and impunity of Russian law enforcement officers for these crimes have become the “new normal” in the Russia-occupied Crimea.

Russia persecutes human right defenders, journalists, and activists. Today eight citizen journalists are currently in detention in Crimea and one is under house arrest. They are Server Mustafayev, Timur Ibragimov, Marlen Asanov, Seyran Saliev, Remzi Bekirov, Ruslan Suleymanov, Osman Arifmemetov, Rustem Sheikhaliev, Amet Suleymanov.

On 10 March 2021, Vladyslav Yesypenko, an associated journalist for the Radio Free Europe, was detained in Crimea under bogus charges. Only one month after Vladyslav’s arrest the independent lawyers were admitted to the case. During the court hearings on 6 April, Yesypenko stated he was tortured by the Russian law-enforcement to extract confessions. Despite this, the court ignored his testimonies and decided to extend his arrest until December 18, 2021. Vladyslav faces up to 18 years of imprisonment.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the illegally imprisoned Ukrainian citizens are particularly vulnerable, as they are deprived of adequate medical care. Russia ignores complaints on seriously deteriorated health conditions, even despite the obvious symptoms of COVID-19, it does not provide the necessary examination and treatment and applies inhuman means of isolation to detainees suffering from COVID-19. According to human rights organizations, prisoners suffering from COVID-19 or having its symptoms are being transferred to solitary confinement cells in Russian penitentiaries. 

Desperate attention is needed to elderly prisoners, in particular Servet Gaziev and Dzhemil Gafarov.

Russian prison administrations continue practicing psychological and physical pressure on the detainees.