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Human rights defenders have developed recommendations on the return of things seized during a search in Crimea

The Russian authorities constantly conduct searches in Crimea, during which they seize the belongings of people. First of all, this applies to computers and electronics. Usually the owners are not being explained regarding the grounds for the seizure of their belongings, their status and the place where these belongings are stored. Lawyers of the CHRG, on the basis of analysis of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation (which acts de facto in the territory of Crimea) described the actions necessary to return the seized belongings.

According to the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation, seized property is subject to inspection and according to the results its status is decided.

If belongings are recognized as material evidence, then it is attached to the case file and a corresponding decision is taken (part 2, article 81 of the Code of Criminal Procedure). But if the property is not recognized as evidence, then it must be returned to the owner (part 4 of Article 81 of the Code of Criminal Procedure). The problem is that the return of property has not been determined, and notification of the person regarding the decision that was taken as a result of the inspection is not assigned.

In order to return the seized items, it is necessary to file a request for return, a sample of which is drawn up by the lawyers of the CHRG.

You can download the application form by following this link

You can file a petition at any time during the preliminary investigation. The decision on the application must be made no later than 3 days after the date of its submission. The results of the decision must be announced to the applicant (Articles 121 and 122 of the Code of Criminal Procedure).


Even if the application is refused, it is possible to file a new one, for example, on clarifying the status of seized items or on acquaintance with a decision in which seized items are recognized as material evidence. After that, you can write a second application for the return of seized items taking into account the information received.

You can also appeal to the court or the prosecutor’s office about the decision of the investigator about the non-return of the things seized during the search (Article 122 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation).

More details on legal advice may be found at the analytical note published on the CHRG website



Crimean citizens are recruited into the Russian army in violation of the Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of WarOn 30 July, 2017 another action was held in Sevastopol calling to serve under the contract in the Russian army. The citizens of Sevastopol again were recruited for military service. At the so-called “point of selection for military service on a contract basis” they distributed booklets with agitation to serve in separate coastal defence brigade 126 and in landing ships brigade 197 of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation. Agitation was held in Sevastopol during the celebration of the day of the Navy on Nakhimov Square. According to the Crimea.Realii website, an exhibition of land military equipment was held on the same square; The exhibition included: a mobile coastal anti-ship missile system “Bastion” with a unified homing missile “Yakhont”, a mobile command and staff radio station, a floating wheeled armoured personnel carrier, an anti-aircraft missile system S-300 “Favorit” for the destruction of modern and prospective aircraft, a 122 mm missile-antiaircraft complex Grad, a multiple launch rocket system “Uragan”, an anti-aircraft missile system “Pantsir”, an air defence missile system “Osa”, a charging car, a self-propelled artillery “Gvozdika”. According to Russian media, the occupation authorities held a naval parade in the city, where military a demonstration fire was organized. The event began with the entrance of the three-masted sailing frigate “Khersones” to the Sevastopol Bay, at which students of the Ukrainian University (Kerch State Maritime Technological University) earlier had a maritime practice. According to local and Russian media, the training ship “Perekop”, missile cruiser “Moscow” and the diesel-electric submarine “Stary Oskol”, as well as the naval aviation Ka-27 helicopters and Su-30SM fighters, also took part in the military parade. Such actions of the Russian Federation in the territory of Ukraine, which was occupied by it, grossly violate international humanitarian law and are prohibited by international conventions. The Crimean Human Rights Group (CHRG) earlier recorded the holding of similar agitation events for military service in the Russian army in the occupied peninsula. We remind you that Article 51 of the Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War explicitly prohibits the invocation of an occupying power in the occupied territory. The head of the CHRG, Olga Skrypnik, noted that among other things the Convention prohibits propaganda of the military conscription in the occupied territories, including all the advertising posters, various “patriotic” events in schools and universities where people are called to go to the Russian army. Both contractual and regular service are under the ban. Photos of the mobile point of military drafting and promotional booklets were made on 30 July in Sevastopol.

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