Olha Skrypnyk, the Head of the Crimean Human Rights Group, Media Center Ukraine — Ukrinform
May 18, 2023, 13:21

Criminal cases against Crimean Tatars are fabricated — Olha Skrypnyk

About 80-86% of the political prisoners the russian federation keeps behind bars are Crimean Tatars. The cases against them are fabricated for political reasons.

Olha Skrypnyk, the Head of the Crimean Human Rights Group, made this statement during a briefing at Media Center Ukraine — Ukrinform.

She noted that the most frequent and widespread are the cases, in which Crimean Tatars are persecuted and accused of being involved in Hizb ut-Tahrir, an organization that is supposedly banned in russia. However, according to the human rights activist, this has nothing to do with their actual activities.

“The majority of political prisoners who are now behind bars, there are at least 160 of them, and exactly the majority of them, 80-86%, are the Crimean Tatars. And the majority is prosecuted  under this case. Nominally, we call it a case against Crimean Muslims, because it is done precisely on a religious basis. And it turns out that it is on a religious basis, because a lot of Muslims are the Crimean Tatars. And that is exactly why they are the main target of persecution that uses such criminal practice under terrorist articles. But the verdicts are real. And this is 12, 15, 18 years of imprisonment in high-security colonies,” explained Olha Skrypnyk.

In addition, she noted that after the fabricated verdicts against the Crimean Tatars, russia deports them, sending them to colonies far away from Crimea.

“Moreover, after the sentences, another crime occurs – deportation, which is also prohibited by International Humanitarian Law. They are sending (Crimean Tatars – Ed.) to high-security colonies on the territory of the russian federation, and these colonies are very far from Crimea. And this is also done deliberately, so that there will be no connections with the family, with lawyers. And, unfortunately, there are already tragic first cases of deaths of our citizens on the territory of the russian federation,” she added.

In addition, Olha Skrypnyk also mentioned russian political prisoners who died this year in russian colonies due to lack of medical care. She believes that such actions of the russian federation are nothing more than a premeditated murder.

“The first known person from the list of political prisoners was Kostiantyn Shyrinh, who was accused of espionage and who died due to lack of medical care in the colony. And then there is Dzhemil Gafarov. Hardly had a week passed after the death of Kostiantyn, when he died, also due to the lack of medical assistance. And it was obvious from the beginning that he would die in such conditions, he had a disease that doesn’t mix well with being in prison. All medical and verifying documents were provided. That is, it is a premeditated murder. And that’s why it’s so dangerous now that our people are being held on the territory of the russian federation.”

As reported, on May 18 Ukraine commemorates the memory of the victims of the deportation of the Crimean Tatars. The current actions of the russian occupiers in Crimea follow in the footsteps of the NKVD’s ethnic cleansing on the peninsula in 1944.

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