On October 3, during a plenary session of the Verkhovna Rada, MPs were reminded of the situation created by the neglect of human rights in the occupied Crimean peninsula and, in particular, of the political prisoners of the Kremlin, whose number, unfortunately, has increased over recent weeks. In particular, the deputy chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People Refat Chubarov asked fellow legislators to stand up holding 48 sheets of paper inscribed with the names of political prisoners, and thus express their respect for our fellow citizens. During a speech from the rostrum, he said that the majority of the population of Crimea expected the Ukrainian state and the international community to take decisive action for the immediate de-occupation of the peninsula. “Dear colleagues, the Russian occupiers believe that all the citizens of Ukraine whose names are laid out on your workplaces are waging a war on Russia because they stay loyal to Ukraine, love Crimea, and oppose the occupiers,” Chubarov was quoted as saying by the 112 TV channel.
“On July 27, the Crimean Tatar activist Ruslan Zeytullaev was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. On August 4, the Ukrainian activist Volodymyr Balukh was sentenced to 3 years and 7 months in a prison camp. On September 11, the deputy chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People Akhtem Chiygoz was sentenced to 8 years’ imprisonment. On September 22, the well-known Ukrainian journalist Mykola Semena was sentenced to 2.5 years of probation with a concurrent ban on any public activity. On September 27, the deputy chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People Ilmi Umerov, who is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, was sentenced to 2 years in a prison camp and banned from public activity. Between these dates, the 76-year-old Server Karametov was sentenced to 10 days’ arrest, and then, FSB officers ruthlessly kidnapped the father of four young children Renat Paralamov as his family members looked on; he was then tortured throughout the day in the FSB office in Simferopol, including by electric shock,” Chubarov noted, and reminded the chamber of the recent detention in Crimea of four more people who are alleged to belong to an extremist entity.
Den has repeatedly covered the arbitrary violence which the occupiers have unleashed against our compatriots and, in particular, our colleague Semena, who, even though he was sentenced to a probationary term by an illegitimate “court” in Simferopol, has been effectively deprived of the right to express his opinion and work as a journalist for two and a half years. Meanwhile, he can be called a true expert on Crimean issues. Being a long-time Den’s own correspondent, he has covered historical, political, economic, and cultural processes on the peninsula, including dangerous ones. For example, his article titled “Sevastopol, the City of Whose Glory?” (penned back in 2003!) was also included in the book Ukraine Incognita. TOP 25, published in Den’s Library series. Thus, the Kremlin’s desire to stifle the voices of the truth is evident.