Russian occupants sentenced Remzi Bekirov to 19 years of imprisonment
March 10, South District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don passed a sentence to five Crimean Tatar activists known as the "second Simferopol group," including journalist of Crimean Solidarity and Grani.Ru Remzi Bekirov.
Remzi Bekirov was sentenced to 19 years of imprisonment, with the first 5 years served in prison and the rest of the sentence at a maximum security penal colony with 1.5-year restriction. Russian occupation authorities charged the journalist with "organizing the activities of a terrorist organization" and "preparing to a violent seizure of power." Apart from Bekirov, the court also incarcerated human rights defender Riza Izetov, activists Shaban Umerov, Farkhad Bazarov and Raim Ayvazov. All of them were sentenced from 16 to 19 years of imprisonment.
"They went to jail for criticizing Russian security forces and their willingness to speak out loud about repressions in the Crimea," says human rights defender and coordinator at Crimean Solidarity Lutfiye Zudiyeva.
Lawyers, families and activists heading from the Crimea to support the accused were not allowed to attend the verdict announcement. They were blocked on the Crimean Bridge while trying to reach Rostov-on-Don.
From the very beginning of Russia’s occupation of the Crimea, Remzi Bekirov was covering human rights violations, live streamed the cases of "Vedzhiye Kashka" and "Hizb ut-Tahrir." He is the author of the idea concerning the collective assistance to families of Crimean political prisoners. In response to his call, people helped build a house for one of the prisoners in the "Hizb ut-Tahrir" case, Teymur Abdulayev.
For the record, Remzi Bekirov was detained on 27 March 2019. That day in the Crimea, the agents of the FSB, Russia’s Ministry of the Interior and National Guard conducted a series of searches in houses of Crimean activists, including houses belonging to activists of Crimean Solidarity. Overall, 24 persons were detained. On 27 and 28 March 2019 the occupation court in Simferopol arrested all detainees.
Bekirov’s case was investigated with the violation of the right to a fair trial. Testimonies from anonymous witnesses (including employees of the Russian FSB) served as primary evidence. Some witnesses at the trial stated that they were pressured to testify. The linguistic expertise of conversations of the accused Muslims, much like the rest of "evidence" against them, was falsified by investigators of Russia’s FSB. Evidence provided by the defense was disregarded.
International and Ukrainian human rights organizations acknowledged that accusations of "terrorism" are mostly used by Russia’s occupation authorities in the Crimea to persecute Crimean Tatar representatives of civil society.
Photo credit: Facebook page"Крымская солидарность"/ Crimean Solidarity
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