Anton Naumlyuk: Mejlis Deputy Chairman Ilmi Umerov

By Anton Naumlyuk, Radio Svoboda correspondent
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

This is a Dua [collective prayer] in the courtyard of the Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis, Ilmi Umerov. He was placed in a psychiatric hospital by court order for a compulsory examination. Umerov has Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and has had heart surgery. Yesterday, he lost consciousness in the hospital.

The Rosa Luxemburg clinic, where Umerov is being kept, is an eerie place. Some of the patients are sleeping in the street because of the heat, the beds are literally under a canopy. On the first day, when Umerov was placed in the hospital clinic, visits and parcels were banned. Later, they were allowed, but an announcement appeared by the barred door with a huge lock that the nurse locks every time someone enters: photographing is prohibited. After yesterday’s incident with his loss of consciousness, an investigator called Umerov’s family and told them that all possible [best] conditions are being created for Umerov at the hospital.

– He was issued his own key to the restroom, – said the investigator.
– Is that an achievement of some kind? Or is there something else you want to say? – they say to him in response.

Today, some 500 people, maybe more, gathered in the courtyard of Umerov’s house in Bakhchisaray. They prayed for his health and release. Not all of them were Muslims. Whoever did not pray stayed to show their support. Seriously, you never have seen such unity.

We met with Umerov last night in the hospital. He complained about his health a bit, but said he would hold out till the end. He does not eat hospital food, afraid that they may slip psychotropic drugs into it and break him. Therefore, he eats twice a day, whatever his family brings him from home. Let me remind you that he has diabetes.

I saw prisoners being tortured, saw hunger strikes and different conditions in which prisoners are kept. But to be honest, I’ve never had the feeling that those were the conditions people were dying in. Now someone is. Umerov has been isolated, and I think they will keep him in this nuthouse until the very end. But the fact is, he is slowly dying there. Considering the state of his heart, blood vessels, blood pressure, and his age.

And I would also like to say that a tweet by the Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson [Mariana Betsa, in which she wrote that Umerov’s condition is difficult and demanded from the occupational authorities to immediately stop the repressions and punitive methods and to free Umerov] is far from being an official statement by the department.

Source: Anton Naumlyuk FB post

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