Anton Naumlyuk: “Ignoramuses, the fathers of stupidity”

The defendants in the “Hizb ut-Tahrir” case in Crimea – who are they: terrorists or the oppressed?

By Anton Naumlyuk, journalist and freelance correspondent for Radio Svoboda (all photos by Anton Naumlyuk)
07.07.2016
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

Dua - collective prayer of Muslims in Crimea for imprisoned Crimean Tatars. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

Dua – collective prayer of Muslims in Crimea for imprisoned Crimean Tatars. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

The session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly [July 1-5], which recently ended in Tbilisi, adopted a resolution “On the violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the violation of the rights of the Crimean Tatar people.” A large portion of Crimean Tatars are pursued by the authorities of the Russian-annexed peninsula for participating in the activities of the organization “Hizb ut-Tahrir.” Russia – is one of the few countries in the world where “Hizb ut-Tahrir” is recognized as a terrorist organization and banned. Who are they really, members of the “Islamic Liberation Party?” What do they seek and why are they persecuted? Special correspondent for Radio Svoboda [Radio Liberty] Anton Naumlyuk met with members of the movement and their relatives.

In Tbilisi, on the initiative of the Ukrainian delegation, the participants of the OSCE once again talked about fundamental human rights violations on the peninsula, referring to the reports of the Bureau for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the OSCE and the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities.

“The growing repression of, violence against and discrimination of indigenous Crimean Tatars and ethnic Ukrainians, including kidnapping, murder, torture and ill-treatment, enforced disappearance and harassment, arbitrary arrest, detention or imprisonment; repressive measures on the part of the de facto authorities against the Mejlis Crimean Tatar people and its leaders,” – states the text of the resolution. In addition, it specifies the facts of “manifestations of violence and discrimination based on religious bias” – the capturing of churches and attacks on priests, especially Protestant and Orthodox Christians who belong under the jurisdiction of the Kyiv Patriarchate. “As well as raids and searches of mosques and madrasas of the Crimean Tatars, restrictions on the distribution of Muslim religious literature under the false pretext of the fight against extremism,” – the document’s authors point out. About the same wording is contained in the resolution adopted by the European Parliament at the beginning of the year in Crimea. Behind the general terms of the resolution, several dozen criminal cases against Crimean Muslims are hidden, including the vast majority of the Crimean Tatars, but there are also Russians and Ukrainians who profess Islam.

Bakhchysarai mosque. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

Bakhchysarai mosque. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

The most significant case against Crimean Muslims – is the accusation of involvement in the Islamic organization ” Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami” (the ‘Islamic Liberation Party.’ – RS), banned by the Russian Supreme Court in 2003. There are 14 people on the peninsula now being prosecuted in this case, the trials of four of them are already underway in the North-Caucasian Military District Court in Rostov-on-Don, investigations into the rest are not yet completed. All of them were charged under Article 205.5 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code. Those who are charged with the creation of a cell organization face 15 to 20 years in prison, the rest of the prospective participants – up to 10 years. If detentions continue, and local lawyers do not doubt they will, then after the “Spring anti-terror amendments” enter into force, this period will increase to 20 years.

“The law is not retroactive, they will judge them according to the rules that were current at the time of their arrest and charges,” – expressed lawyer Emile Kurbedinov with confidence. He is defending multiple defendants in the “case” of “Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami,” as well as the journalist Mykola Semena who is accused of separatism, and who is now under house arrest.

Dua (a collective prayer) of Crimean Tatars in Yalta. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

Dua (a collective prayer) of Crimean Tatars in Yalta. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

Utopia “Hizb ut-Tahrir”

The Islamic Liberation Party” appeared in 1953. It was founded by Sharia judge Takiuddin an-Nabhani, and calls for a “pure Islam.” In most countries the organization operates entirely legally; it is recognized as a terrorist organization in Russia, and is pursued in a number of the republics of Central Asia, Turkey, and Pakistan. In the United States, it is recognized as an “organization that promotes the spread of the ideas of Islamic fundamentalism and radicalism,” but is not banned; in Germany it is prosecuted for anti-Semitic views. Germany’s decision was appealed in the ECHR [European Court of Human Rights], but to no avail: although the court did not find signs of terrorist activity in the “Hizb ut-Tahrir,” it acknowledged that its objectives are contrary to the values of the European Convention on Human Rights. These objectives are to spread the Islamic way of life and the organization of a Caliphate, thus rejecting any violent methods.

“Probably, this organization is indeed utopian”

“The organization…aims to eliminate non-Islamic governments and establish Islamic rule worldwide by recreating the “World Islamic Caliphate,” initially in regions with a predominantly Muslim population, including Russia and the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] countries. The main form of activity: militant Islamic propaganda combined with intolerance of other religions, the active recruitment of supporters, and purposeful work on effecting a split in society (primarily propagandist with powerful financial support), “- says the decision of the Supreme Court dated February 14, 2003, when they simultaneously banned 14 Islamic organizations. Not a single fact of “Hizb ut-Tahrir” terrorist activities was specified in the reasoning of the decision. A year later, when the prosecution of members of the organization in Bashkiria and other regions began, the human rights movement “Memorial” cited in its report to Moscow City Court judge Vladimir Usov, who at one of the case conferences, said: “Probably, the organization is indeed utopian, but perhaps even human rights activists understand that I must be guided by the decision of the Supreme Court.” Despite a number of restrictions of its activities, the party is not recognized as terrorist in any European country, except for Russia.

Believers in a mosque in Bakhchysarai. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

Believers in a mosque in Bakhchysarai. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

A “Conveyor Belt” for Crimean Muslims

14 people living in Crimea are involved in the case about membership in “Hizb ut-Tahrir” taking place now. Until the spring of 2014, they did not feel pressure from security officials; in Ukraine the organization operates completely freely. Russian legislation has changed their status from “radical Muslims” to “terrorists.”

Detentions began in late January of 2015 when FSB operatives staged simultaneous raids at two houses – in the village of Orlyne near Sevastopol and in neighboring Shtormove. In April, security forces again came to Orlyne and detained another man. Three of them – Rustem Vaytov, Nuri [Yuri] Primov, Ferat Sayfullaev – are accused of involvement in “Hizb ut-Tahrir.” Ruslan Zeytullaev – in the organization of a cell. This “Sevastopol group,” began to be judged in the North Caucasus Military District Court of Rostov on June 1st. The remaining ten people are waiting for the completion of their investigations, which will last at least until the autumn.

Enver Mamutov. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

Enver Mamutov. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

Subsequent detentions took place in Yalta in February and April of 2016. The total detained on February 11 was 12 people from all over Crimea, but eight were released. The searches took place, including in the home of Crimean human rights activist and member of the Contact Group on Human Rights – Emir Huseyn Kuku, whom security officials arrested on the same charges – membership in a terrorist organization. The case of the six people of the “Yalta group:” Emir Huseyn Kuku, Inver Bekirov, Muslim Aliev, Vadim Siruk, Arsen Dzheparov and Refat Alimov, apparently, will be considered separately by the Rostov court.

Finally, most recently in the case of “Hizb ut-Tahrir,” four residents of Bakhchisaray were detained in May of 2016. The traditional charges have been brought against them, the investigation has just begun, and all four are in the Simferopol SIZO. One of the last detained, businessman Enver Mamutov, is being held in solitary confinement. He is considered to be the organizer of the group – for this, Mamutov faces 20 years in jail to life imprisonment. Zevri Abseitov, Remzi Memetov and Rustem Abiltarov sit in common cells.

Rustem Abiltarov. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

Rustem Abiltarov. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

“We are afraid that these detentions will continue,” – says the sister of Refat Alimov, Lenie Nazarbekova. “I’m afraid that they will come for my husband. We completely do not understand the logic – for whom they come, and for whom they don’t. Any Muslim in Crimea, it turns out, can be accused of extremism.” Lawyer Emil Kurbedinov who represents several of the defendants in the case of “Hizb ut-Tahrir,” believes that detentions of Crimean Muslims will continue. He calls this case a “conveyor belt.” Human rights activists and lawyers fear that after the ban of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people comes into force there will be another big case on charges of extremism with an unknown number of defendants.

Ukrainian political prisoners who “can escape”

In addition to the “Sevastopol group,” which is on trial in Rostov, investigations of the other defendants in the case continue. All of them have had their custody extended, despite the defense’s request to change the measure of restraint on house arrest. On July 6, the [occupied] Kyiv District Court of Simferopol considered the petition of the investigative department of the FSB in Crimea to extend the investigation until October across the entire “Bakhchysarai Quartet.”

Defendants in the case of Hizb ut-Tahrir in the Kyiv District Court of Simferopol. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

Defendants in the case of Hizb ut-Tahrir in the Kyiv District Court of Simferopol. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

As was recognized by the lawyers, after the first interrogation they have not conducted any investigation, but FSB investigator Sergei Makhno, who asked to leave them in jail until the fall, claimed that the accused might leave Crimea, and the investigators need to conduct a series of examinations. “They are citizens of Ukraine, recognized as political prisoners there. That is why they could, desiring this status, leave the territory of Russia.” – the investigator stated in court. Among all of the detained are two passports – a Russian one, which is found in the case file, and a Ukrainian one, which the lawyers also offered to remove so that the law enforcement authorities would be convinced that the accused would not be able to leave the peninsula legally.

“What is the cause of such a long period?” – Judge Irina Kigitina was surprised when the investigator asked to leave the accused in custody for four months. “The conducting of labor-intensive and prolonged examinations,” – said Makhno.

Remzi Memetov in court. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

Remzi Memetov in court. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

“There are no preconditions that my client would hide,” – said Rustem Abiltarov’s lawyer Oksana Zhelezniak. “His passport is in the case file, he cannot go anywhere, and has never tried to before. And finally, he has family here.” Abiltarov, the builder, has four children, as does Abseitov, and Mamutov has seven of them.

“How can Memetov threaten the witnesses, as the investigator fears, if he does not even know who these witnesses are,” – lawyer Sergei Legostov continued, trying to persuade the court. How can he destroy the evidence if it’s kept in law enforcement under guard?”

The judge was not convinced, and she left the whole “Bakhchysarai Four” in custody until October 21st. “I have no relationship to the party ‘Hizb ut-Tahrir,'” – Remzi Memetov stated in court. “I have never recruited, nor done any of what I am accused of. I’m not planning to hide anywhere, nor do I intend to put any pressure on anyone, especially since I do not know them.” He worked as a cook, and during the traditional iftar (evening meal during Ramadan – RS) for which Bakhchysarai Muslims are currently gathering in the mosque’s courtyard, they remember the pilaf which Memetov prepared.

Zebra Abseitov. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

Zebra Abseitov. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

“I am not and never was in any organization,” – stated Zevri Abseitov. The dentist came to court with a blood pressure monitor, complaining of health problems due to his blood pressure. “I was engaged in work I loved and reaped only the beneifts. For myself, my health is already almost gone. But my mother is left with four children and a wife.”

Appealing the court’s decision is useless; both the lawyers and the relatives of the defendants themselves understand this. A few days before the meeting in the [occupied] Kyiv District Court in the Supreme Court of Crimea [in Simferopol], an appeal on the exact same decision on Refat Alimov and Arsen Dzheparov of the “Yalta group” was considered. Video- and photo-taking during the proceedings were banned due to ‘lack of expediency.’ “I am a citizen of the Russian Federation, registered in Yalta, I live with my parents. The investigating authorities did not identify any evidence of the need to extend the investigation, no real possibility of escape.” – Alimov urged the court. “My ancestors lived on this land, my parents, and I’m not planning to flee anywhere. FSB officers tried to frighten me even before my arrest, I could have left, but I continued to live here and to work.” – Dzheparov repeated.

In my view, the only reasonable explanation for all of these extensions, is that the investigation has no evidence of any guilt, and they are putting on pressure to get a confession,”- suggested lawyer Emile Kurbedinov.

“Probably, one should not have been born a Tatar.”

When the judge left to make his decision, which was obvious to everyone, Dzheparov, said via video link: “Where is Zarina?” – This is his wife. She came to the center of the room so that she could be seen on camera. “She’s crying?” – Asks the accused. “It is with joy at seeing you,” – soothes the son’s mother, crying herself. Alimov’s mother calms her: “Do not worry, they will swap places with us. Hold on, we are strong. They are not mothers. One would really like to have their children end up in the place of ours. I will pray about this every day. Probably one should not have been born a Tatar… ,”- says the woman.

A dua near every house

The vast majority of Crimean Muslims consider the prosecution and the “Hizb ut-Tahrir” case itself to be pressure on religious grounds. Given the complexity of relations between the Russian authorities and the Crimean Tatars, there is an added national factor. “Why do they so not like our people?” – Dzheparov’s mother asks at the trial, to no one in particular. “Again repressions. They lower their eyes, say nothing. All their lives they’ve lived with Tatars, and now Tatars are bad. They’ve so intimidated us that only our mouths are left to seal with tape.”

“They have so intimidated us that only our mouths are left to seal with tape.”

The response to the prosecutions was the actual unification of Muslims, among whom there are clearly also non-supporters of “Hizb ut-Tahrir.” One of the original forms of protest became the “dua” – mass prayer for the fate of political prisoners, which Muslims hold near the homes of each of the detainees. In Bakhchysarai, at such prayer meetings, up to 150 people attend. At the duas are always a lot of police and plainclothes officers, they often sit in cars and record what is happening on camera. Sometimes, prior to the families’ organizing of a dua, security officials bring a warning about the inadmissibility of violation of the law on mass events. In response, Muslims are surprised that the prayers are actually equated to rallies.

A dua in Yalta. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

A dua in Yalta. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

“We ask Allah to either ease our time spent in custody, or make it so that the authorities pay attention to the real criminals, terrorists and extremists who pose a threat to society or the state, and fight with them,” – said Alexander, a Russian who converted to Islam. He became blind after a car accident, but comes to almost every session of the court, and to all the duas. After another prayer when iftar began, he went to tell the camera what he thinks about the trials of his fellow believers.

“It’s sad to look at the situation of Muslims in Crimea, but their cohesion pleases, as it begins to increase more and more,” – says the lawyer Emile Kurbedinov. Relatives of the detained Muslims created an informal organization “Crimean solidarity,” which helps the families left without men to gather the children to school, organizes the duas, and writes appeals to the authorities. Every last Sunday of the month members of “Solidarity” gather to find out what needs the families of the “unjustly imprisoned” have. Remzi Memetov’s son Dilyaver coordinates the organization. “They are our children, those who are left. How can we not help them?” – says Ruslan, a businessman from Simferopol. “Look, my son allocated five thousand [to them], I allocated something, others too – that’s how we support them.”

Dilyaver, one of Remzi Memetov's sons. "This is the son of Remzi Memetov, who was detained along with three other residents of Bakhchysarai on May 12th. Memetov was 49 years old and worked as a cook. Now his wife and two sons are left without him. One of the sons, Dilyaver, is now coordinating Crimean Solidarity – an organization of the relatives of Muslim political prisoners. Today [July 3rd], a Dua took place near Memetov’s house – a collective prayer for the fate of the political prisoners."

Dilyaver, one of Remzi Memetov’s sons. “This is the son of Remzi Memetov, who was detained along with three other residents of Bakhchysarai on May 12th. Memetov was 49 years old and worked as a cook. Now his wife and two sons are left without him. One of the sons, Dilyaver, is now coordinating Crimean Solidarity – an organization of the relatives of Muslim political prisoners. Today [July 3rd], a Dua took place near Memetov’s house – a collective prayer for the fate of the political prisoners.”

“For our children, childhood ended on February 11, within a few minutes. Right behind a man was Ilyas,” – Muslim Aliyev’s wife says, and demonstrates on her teenage son. “And we are trying to seek the truth, we do not know where to look, but we are trying. I think that these people are well aware that there was no terrorism here and that there cannot be. This means that somebody needs children to suffer, wives to suffer, and all the people to feel the pressure.”

In the house of the arrested human rights activist Emir-Huseyn Kuku two young children are left. “Probably, the Almighty gives according to your strengths, only you do not know ahead of time what you are capable of. When the searches began on February 11 all around Crimea, there were detainments, and then they began to let people go. And all of them returned to their homes, except for our four. But then I was told, and I remembered it: ‘they are alive, and you know where to find them.’ That’s all, for now, inshallah. Compared with those who are lost, the situation cannot be compared. Maybe that’s why we continue to hope,” – says Kuku’s wife Meryem.

Meryem Kuku. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

Meryem Kuku. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

Her son Bakir, who watched as masked men with guns broke down the door early in the morning, knocked his father to the floor, handcuffed him and then searched the house, recalls the February events in great detail. In his nine years, he is very serious and always calls the Russian security forces: “ignoramuses, the fathers of stupidity.” “What has befallen you, you cannot escape, and that which has passed – will never come back to you” – the boy sometimes repeats.

Source: Radio Svoboda

 

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Petr i Mazepa: About contrasts, or what they forget about in Toretsk

By Yury Yezhov
07.07.2016
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

On July 5th, the cities of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk celebrated the second anniversary of their liberation from terrorists. It was not a holiday in the usual sense, since the war was still ongoing and it was too early to celebrate…

"About contrasts, or what they forget about in Toretsk"

“About contrasts, or what they forget about in Toretsk”

On July 5 Slovyansk and Kramatorsk celebrated the second anniversary of their liberation from terrorists. It was not a holiday in the usual sense, since the war was still ongoing and it was too early to celebrate. But it was yet another opportunity to recall the events of that time. To thank those who helped make that first, very important step. And to remember those who gave their lives for the liberation of Ukrainian Donbas.

There was a military parade in Slovyansk. Not a pompous Soviet-style one, but quiet, and reasonably solemn.

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The president of Ukraine personally handed out awards and spoke with the participants of the events of the now distant summer of 2014: the paratroopers and the commandos, the policemen and the national guardsmen; the best of the best. For many of them Slovyansk was only the beginning.

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It was symbolic that under this reliable shield, local residents who wanted to thank their defenders assembled. A small thing which really hit home for me was – when most people tried to get to the [President] (some – to shake his hand, some – to take a selfie), one elderly, grey-haired man went up to the soldiers with a bunch of simple flowers and the words “Lads, I’d rather go with you. You deserve it more!” And the soldiers smiled shyly while opening up their “Hummers” [sic] and “Spartans,” IFVs [infantry fighting vehicles] for the local kids to play on.

There was also a parade of orchestras, a requiem gathering at the 5th checkpoint, a photo exhibition, performances of the creative groups of the city and other events.

At the same time, in Kramatorsk there were charity football matches between the musical stars, the soldiers and local police teams, in honour of the musician Larson [Ukrainian musician, rapper, a volunteer and former soldier of the ATO Sergey Larkin (Larson) who died in hospital after a motorcycle crash, Ed.].

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There was a patriotic march of the residents of Kramatorsk and a music concert with Jamala as the main star.

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The square was flooded with cheerful people, many of them with children. Crimean Tatar flags could be seen organically alongside the red-and-black and the blue-and-yellow flags. There was no nationalism or aggression – only smiles, good humour and cool music. Without division by ethnicity, language, faith or political beliefs – exactly as it should be in a large but close-knit family of free people.

Against this positive background, the incomprehensible act of the inhabitants of Toretsk comes into particularly sharp contrast. Some drunken people (many of whom also had prior convictions, as it later turned out) tried to block a military convoy of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. The year is 2016, and there was more than enough bitter experience among the soldiers not to stand on ceremony this time; fortunately, the police helped out. According to Abroskin, the Head of the Donetsk Oblast police, the mayor of Toretsk stood on the sidelines and observed the situation with detachment.

The last time this happened was back in 2014. And it seems that everyone should have understood by now what such actions lead to. And the end result is very simple – a war in your city, which was confirmed later on. On the evening of the 5th, shells began to land on the settlement of Severny, basically a suburb of Toretsk. Fortunately, this time only the fences and windows were damaged as a result of the attack, and no residents were hurt. But the lesson was a good one: if you oppose the military, you get unwelcome presents from the separatists. Everything is logical. If you sow a storm, you’ll reap a war.

And that same war now continues only a hundred kilometres away from the festive Slovyansk and Kramatorsk. Here in Avdiivka, people are forced to endure all the horrors of a war right on their doorstep. The children have gotten accustomed to playing in sandboxes to the sounds of mortar salvos, teenagers go for walks in the evenings. Someone left because they couldn’t stand this any more, someone else was forced to leave because their home was destroyed.

Guests and residents of Kyiv like to go on the quite popular tours to Chernobyl. Connoisseurs of the “Stalker” experience pay good money to visit and look at an abandoned ghost town. But recently many complain that the props are unnatural. They say that the travel agencies deliberately put some things there to attract more clients.

In Avdiivka, everything is completely authentic. There are no fakes. That’s a 100% guarantee. It is a paradise for “Stalkers.”

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But no photographs can convey that feeling you get when you enter an abandoned, destroyed apartment. Here, you can see exactly what war is like. When people leave behind absolutely everything that they have worked so long to get.

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When they take only money and documents with them. When instead of a balcony, there is a gaping hole from a projectile fired from a “brotherly,” unrecognised, “republic” of “liberators.”

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When among the abandoned children’s toys you can find mortar fragments, sharp as razors…

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It is very easy to call for war in a place where you live, to invite foreign “defenders” into your home. It is even easier to stand in the way of the military columns of those who will be actually saving you from the aggressors. Only it is very difficult afterwards to explain to your children why, instead of festive concerts and happy, smiling people all around, you have to sit in a basement or to gather your belongings and flee to nowhere.

So, if someone suddenly has a desire to stand in front of columns of Ukrainian Army detachments, they should think about who will come instead of them and what “Russian world” they will bring along with them. And someone who doesn’t like to listen to the Ukrainian Jamala’s songs will be forced instead to listen to [Russian crooner Joseph] Kobzon. And to the sound of artillery salvos hitting their house.

Source: petrimazepa.com

 

 

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Anton Naumlyuk: Crimean Tatar political prisoner insights (photo essay)

By Anton Naumlyuk, journalist (text and all photos)
07.2016
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

Respected human rights journalist Anton Naumlyuk has been in Crimea this month covering the trials of Crimean Tatar political prisoners, taking photographs and collecting information from their relatives. Voices of Ukraine wishes to highlight the faces and stories of Crimean Tatars who are being kidnapped, disappeared and persecuted on a regular basis by the Russian invader-occupants of Crimea. Here are some of the photos and insights from Naumlyuk (his report for Radio Svoboda will follow, and related reading links about these men from Halya Coynash of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group are at the end of the article).

According to the Crimean human rights group, in June of 2016 at least 9 politically-motivated abductions occurred in Crimea

According to the Crimean human rights group, in June of 2016 at least 9 politically-motivated abductions occurred in Crimea. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

According to [Russian-installed Crimean puppet] prosecutor Natalia Poklonsky, 357 people are listed as missing in Crimea, of which 26 are Crimean Tatars. Human rights activists declared that kidnappings are taking place. Among the people collecting information on the kidnappings was Emir-Huseyn Kuku, member of the Contact Group on Human Rights in Crimea.

Mykola Semena

Mykola Semena. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

This is Crimean journalist Mykola Semena, who is currently facing 5 years of imprisonment because he dared to disagree that “Crimea is Russia.” His computer was apparently hacked, and law enforcement took remote screenshots while he was writing articles, sending e-mails, and socializing in social networks. He is being persecuted for entirely political reasons, and when his case gets to court, which will happen, you will learn a lot about how the work is being done by Russian intelligence agencies to organize an information blackout of the entire [Crimean] peninsula.

The parents of Achtem Chiygoz

The parents of Achtem Chiygoz, Alie and Veytulla. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

These are the parents of Achtem Chiygoz, who was arrested in January of 2015 on charges of organizing mass riots. He faces up to 10 years in prison. On February 26, 2014, a group of Tatars, apparently organized by Chubarov, took part in a rally in front of the Verkhovna Rada [Supreme Council] of Crimea to protest the passing of the separatist laws. The rally was opposed by “titushky” [hired thugs] of [Crimean “prime minister” Sergey] Aksyonov. As a result, Achtem Chiygoz was arrested. His parents, Veytulla and Alie, remember both their deportation [in 1944] and the return home.

Son and wife of Emir-Huseyn Kuku

Son and wife of Emir-Huseyn Kuku. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

This is the son and wife of Emir-Huseyn Kuku, Crimean human rights activist, who is being accused of involvement in Hizb ut-Tahrir, an organization declared as terrorist in Russia as early as 2003. Hizb members, in their entire history, have not committed a single act of terrorism and denounce violent methods of fighting for a global caliphate. The European Court of Human Rights, while recognizing that their doctrine does not correspond to European values, did not find anything of a terrorist nature in their activities. In April 2015, Kuku was beaten, and an arrest was attempted, but he was only taken in February 2016. Recently, a man tried to intimidate his nine-year-old son, later admitting that he was acting on the orders of FSB operatives. Ukrainian human rights activists filed a statement to the prosecutor about the child being subjected to [psychological] pressure. Emir-Huseyn Kuku faces up to 10 years in prison.

One of Enver Mamutov's 7 children

One of Enver Mamutov’s 7 children. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

This is one of the seven children of Enver Mamutov, a resident of Bakhchysarai, who is being accused of involvement in Hizb ut-Tahrir, which has been declared a terrorist organization in Russia, but is permitted to act freely in Ukraine and in the majority of countries in the world. His father could face up to 10 years in prison.

A Dua – a self-organized collective prayer for the fate of the political prisoners

Dua – a self-organized collective prayer for the fate of the political prisoners. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

This is Dua – a collective prayer for the fate of the prisoners. Crimean Muslims, knowing that they can follow in the footsteps of the 14 persons arrested in the Hizb ut-Tahrir case, gather in the hundreds to pray for the release of their co-believers. All this takes place under close scrutiny of the police, and none of the participants can be sure that they will not be prosecuted in turn. Relatives and friends of the arrested have formed an organization called Crimean Solidarity, which organizes the Dua, and helps the families and children of the accused. Solidarity emerged on its own, without anyone specifically organizing it. It is simply a movement of people helping each other.

Dilyaver, one of Remzi Memetov's 2 sons

Dilyaver, one of Remzi Memetov’s 2 sons. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

This is the son of Remzi Memetov, who was detained along with three other residents of Bakhchysarai on May 12th. Memetov was 49 years old and worked as a cook. Now his wife and two sons are left without him. One of the sons, Dilyaver, is now coordinating Crimean Solidarity – an organization of the relatives of Muslim political prisoners. Today [July 3rd], a Dua took place near Memetov’s house – a collective prayer for the fate of the political prisoners.

Nadzhiye, the wife of Muslim Aliev

Nadzhiye, the wife of Muslim Aliev. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

This is Nadzhiye, the wife of Muslim Aliev. Her husband, a construction worker from Alushta, was detained on February 11, 2016 on charges of involvement in Hizb ut-Tahrir. His two children are left without a father. Muslim Aliyev faces up to 25 years in prison. Today [July 4th], near his home, Crimean Muslims held a Dua – a collective prayer for the fate of the political prisoners.

Enver Mamutov

Enver Mamutov. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

This is the smiling and gold-toothed Enver Mamutov, plasterer and painter from Bakhchysarai. He has seven children, one of them I have already shown [earlier on this page]. In front of their home, Crimean Muslims performed a dua recently. Mamutov was accused of membership in Hizb ut-Tahrir and faces up to 10 years in prison. Today [July 6th], his detention in custody extended until October.

Zevri Abseitov

Zevri Abseitov. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

This is Zevri Abseitov. A dentist from Bakhchysarai, with four children left at home without him. He was detained in May 2016 on charges of involvement in Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is only banned in Russia. Today [July 6th], the court extended his detention until October. At his trial, he carried a blood pressure monitor.

Remzi Memetov

Remzi Memetov. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

This is Remzi Memetov, a cook from Bakhchysarai. Like others, he was detained in May on charges of membership in Hizb ut-Tahrir. He left behind two children at home. His son Dilyaver coordinates Crimean Solidarity – an organization that helps the families of Crimean political prisoners. Today, the [occupied] Simferopol’s Kyivskiy District Court extended Memetov’s period in custody until October.

Rustem Abiltarov

Rustem Abiltarov. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

This is Rustem Abiltarov, a construction worker from Bakhchysarai and a father of four. He was detained in May, accused of membership in Hizb ut-Tahrir. He faces up to 10 years in prison. According to today’s [July 6th] court decision, he will remain in the Simferopol jail until October.

Source: Anton Naumlyuk FB posts

Related reading:
Halya Coynash, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, on Emir-Huseyn Kuku: “When Abduction Turns to FSB ‘Search’ in Russian-Occupied Crimea”

Halya Coynash, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, on Enver Mamutov, Rustem Albitarov, Remzi Memetov, Zevri Abseitov: “Russia’s Conveyor Belt of Repression in Occupied Crimea”

Halya Coynash, Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, on Mykola Semena: “Crimean journalist placed on ‘Russian List of Terrorists and Extremists’ for an article”

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Dmitry Tymchuk: Military update 06.24 #LetMyPeopleGo

information_resistance_logo_engDmitry Tymchuk, Head of the Center for Military and Political Research, Coordinator of the Information Resistance group, Member of Parliament (People’s Front)
06.24.2016
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

(See end of post for acronym glossary)

Operational data from Information Resistance:

Russian-terrorist troops in Donbas are increasing their use of 120 mm mortars and cannon artillery of 122 mm and 152 mm caliber (mainly using self-propelled artillery guns, which quickly take firing positions and promptly retreat; however, terrorists also use towed artillery). The bulk of militant artillery shelling occurs at nighttime (before 5 am), but militants are notably less scrupulous about concealing their use of heavy weaponry.

In addition to the “traditional” sectors where the enemy deploys heavy weaponry (the areas of Avdiivka, Pisky, Opytne, Dokuchajevsk–Taramchuk, Berezove, Novotroitske, and southwest of Dokuchajevsk), militants have stepped up their activity in a number of other areas.

In the area of the Svitlodarsk salient, militants are shelling the ATO forces’ strongholds east of Novozvanivka (south of Popasna), using not only mortars and grenade launchers, but also artillery, from positions south of Novooleksandrivka (four 122-mm self-propelled artillery guns, in tandem with 82 mm mortars).

June 20-21, 2016: The consequences of overnight shelling in Avdiivka

Militants shelled the ATO forces in the vicinity of Troitske, Verkhnotoretske, and Novoselivka Druha, using 122 mm and 152 mm artillery from positions near Mykhailivka, Batmanove (former Krasnyi Partyzan), and west of Panteleimonivka. In addition, a pair of militant 152 mm self-propelled guns (“Akatsiya” 2S3 or similar) shelled Ukrainian troop positions south of Nevelske, operating from the area northwest of Lozove.

It should be noted that the enemy started carrying out ranging artillery fire on the ATO forces’ rear, namely in the vicinity of Avdiivka (residential areas) and Pervomaisk; detonations of 152 mm and 122 mm shells were recorded. In some cases, ranging fire includes fire shifting and transfers, in salvos up to 10 shells. At the same time, militants are transferring new artillery detachments to the front line.

June 20-21, 2016: The consequences of overnight shelling in Avdiivka

Terrorist forces and equipment have been considerably reinforced in the Petrovskiy and Kirovskiy districts of Donetsk, as well as near Staromykhailivka. The reinforcements are units from the “1st DNR AC” brigades, already “broken in” in training centers. In total, a transfer of up to two infantry battalions was recorded; north of Novotroitska Street, beyond the railroad, six BMP-2’s and several MT-LB’s were spotted on the march; as well as two tanks in camouflaged shelters, near Staromykhailivka (in the southern part of the settlement; previously, these tanks were used in shellings near Krasnohorivka). A militant artillery group (two batteries) was spotted in the same area.

Militants continue actively transporting ammunition and fuel along the Bakhmut motorway, in the direction of Kadiivka (formerly Stakhanov), mainly via the Mykhailivka junction (up to 25 vehicles during the past 24 hours, including 7 fuel tanker trucks).

Rumors are circulating among the employees of the “LNR Ministry of State Security” about “informal contacts” between some of the “ministry’s” leaders  and Ukrainian special services. According to the preliminary reports, these rumors are being spread by one of the “influence groups” inside the “LNR MSS” to organize subsequent “staff purges” under the pretext of “rooting out traitors.”

Source: Dmitry Tymchuk FB 

Glossary:

AC – Army Corps
ACV – armored combat vehicle
AGS-17 – automatic grenade launcher
ATO – Anti-Terrorist Operation
BMP – infantry fighting vehicle
BTG – battalion tactical group
BTR, APC – armored personnel carrier
BRDM – armored reconnaissance and surveillance vehicle
BRM – armored reconnaissance vehicle
DAP – Donetsk International Airport
DNR – “Donetsk People’s Republic”
DRG – sabotage and reconnaissance group
ELINT – Electronic Intelligence
GRU – Russian Defense Intelligence, the main military foreign-intelligence service of the Russian Federation
KSM – command and staff vehicle
LNR – “Luhansk People’s Republic”
MGB – Ministry of State Security
MOD – Ministry of Defense
MT-LB – light multipurpose tracked vehicle
MLRS – multiple-launch rocket systems
OMSBR – Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade
SBU – Ukrainian Secret Service
SPG-9 – stand-mounted grenade launcher
TZM, TLV – transporter-loading vehicle
UAV – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (drones or other)
ZU-23-2 – anti-aircraft artillery system

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Dmitry Tymchuk: Military update 06.22 #LetMyPeopleGo

information_resistance_logo_engDmitry Tymchuk, Head of the Center for Military and Political Research, Coordinator of the Information Resistance group, Member of Parliament (People’s Front)
06.22.2016
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

(See end of post for acronym glossary)

Operational data from Information Resistance:

Russian-terrorist forces in Donbas continue using small arms and grenade launchers, as well as 120 mm mortars, armored vehicles (BMP and BTR), and occasionally, 122 mm artillery. Enemy DRG’s and sniper groups have stepped up their activity, while militants’ small infantry groups attempt to fire at the ATO forces’ positions at close range from the neutral zone.

In particular, terrorist shellings continue in the area of Avdiivka-Opytne-Pisky. The enemy’s main positions are in the area of Spartak (using 82 mm and 120 mm mortars, as well as heavy machine guns and stand-mounted grenade launchers). When necessary, the militant command also makes use of some of the forces and equipment from its Yasynuvata tactical group.

Militant activity is also noted in the area of Leninske-Mayorsk-Zaitsevo. In addition to small arms, the enemy is using artillery systems from positions north of the Terrykonna railway station and south of the Poselok 6-7 neighborhood.

June 2016: Russian artillery in Donetsk.

June 2016: Russian artillery in Donetsk.

Shellings are permanent practically along the entire stretch from Krasnohorivka to areas south of Mar’inka. There is a notable increase in the enemy’s use of anti-aircraft ZU-23-2 systems.

Permanent shelling with use of mortars is also taking place in the area of Dokuchajevsk and further south, all the way to Hranitne.

The situation has escalated dramatically in the coastal regions, namely in the areas of Shyrokyne, Vodyane, and Talakivka, where militants are conducting short but powerful fire raids, deploying mobile strike groups. In addition, the density of militant combat lines has notably increased: south of the Oktyabr-Bezimenne line, we recorded appearances of armored vehicles, including tanks, of which at least 12, in groups of 2-3, are used to reinforce terrorist units in this area; as well as four BBM’s in the area of Bezimenne itself; three tanks and 6 BMP-2’s in the area of Kominternove; plus a concentration of transport and armored (12-13 trucks and 4 MT-LB’s) beyond the settlement of Oktyabr.

June 19, 2016: Russian tank near Yubileyne, Luhansk region

June 19, 2016: Russian tank near Yubileyne, Luhansk Oblast

In the area of the Svitlodarsk arc, as well as near the salient around the settlements of Schastia and Stanytsia Luhanska, small militant infantry groups are very active (shoot-outs with the ATO battlefield security take place practically every night). In many instances, these enemy groups operate with the support of mortars and armored vehicles (BMP and BTR).

Noteworthy facts:

• the reinforcement of a coastal militant group with combat equipment;

• terrorists’ attempts to retain combat initiative in areas west and northwest of Donetsk;

• the activity of the militant “Horlivka Garrison,” foremost in the western and northwestern flanks, with an escalation trend on the right flank of the Svitlodarsk arc.

Persistent rumors are circulating within the “DNR” militant groups about the deployment of at least two permanent “Russian military bases” in the occupied territories of the Donetsk Oblast: allegedly, the “DNR” leadership has already “reached an agreement” with the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation and the Russian Armed Forces General Staff (most probably, these rumors are spread with the purpose of “psychological support” for militants).

The “LNR,” in turn, is spreading rumors about the alleged transfer of Ukrainian assault aircraft to Severodonetsk (the “Severodonetsk International Airport” checkpoint). Militants are scaring the locals with stories that the ATO forces are preparing to bomb civilian targets.

Source: Dmitry Tymchuk FB 

Glossary:

AC – Army Corps
ACV – armored combat vehicle
AGS-17 – automatic grenade launcher
ATO – Anti-Terrorist Operation
BMP – infantry fighting vehicle
BTG – battalion tactical group
BTR, APC – armored personnel carrier
BRDM – armored reconnaissance and surveillance vehicle
BRM – armored reconnaissance vehicle
DAP – Donetsk International Airport
DNR – “Donetsk People’s Republic”
DRG – sabotage and reconnaissance group
ELINT – Electronic Intelligence
GRU – Russian Defense Intelligence, the main military foreign-intelligence service of the Russian Federation
KSM – command and staff vehicle
LNR – “Luhansk People’s Republic”
MGB – Ministry of State Security
MOD – Ministry of Defense
MT-LB – light multipurpose tracked vehicle
MLRS – multiple-launch rocket systems
OMSBR – Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade
SBU – Ukrainian Secret Service
SPG-9 – stand-mounted grenade launcher
TZM, TLV – transporter-loading vehicle
UAV – Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (drones or other)
ZU-23-2 – anti-aircraft artillery system

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This translation work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. The rights pertaining to the original work remain unaffected.

Posted in Dmitry Tymchuk, English News, Pictures, South&Eastern Ukraine, War in Donbas | Leave a comment