Crimean Tatar Asan Akhtemov Severely Tortured to Beat a Testimony Out – Lawyer

Immediately after the arrest, Asan Akhtemov was subjected to electrocuting and psychological violence to extort a confession to a crime that he did not commit from him.

This was reported by lawyer Ayder Azamatov.

According to the lawyer, on September 3, 2021, at 11:30pm, people wearing masks and camouflage uniforms entered the house of Asan Akhtemov. These people put a plastic mask on Asan, through which he could not see anything, handcuffs, and at the same time did not voice any decisions, then they took him out and drove away. “He was transported for about 40 minutes, and then they brought him to a building. They took him out of the car, one man was dragging him, and several more people were following them’.

All the time he was being transported and moved, he was constantly threatened. When they came to his home, he was told that he had allegedly raped some girl, and he was taken away because of this, then in the process, when they were driving, they threatened that they would plant drugs and weapons. They entered the building and walked downstairs for about five to seven minutes, went down to the room, all this was accompanied by insults, threats against him and his family.

After that, Asan was seated on a chair facing the back, his legs were tied with tape to the chair legs, his hands were tied with tape to the back. They put wires on the ears, very thin – they were felt like threads. Asan felt that they were shocking – the current discharge continued for 10 seconds, then it was stopped and started again, they did it 6-7 times. And they were insulting him all this time.

After that, Asan said that he was ready to do whatever they said. They took off the mask from Asan, a man in a “military” uniform approached him, who introduced himself as a doctor. This man said that Asan should tell on camera what had been prepared for him in advance. Asan began to speak – they did not like it, they put a mask on him again. They took him to a room, put him facing the wall, and at that moment they hit him in the back of the head.

After that, Asan was put in the car and driven off, at that moment he was told: “We will take you to the forest, we shoot well, you will run, and we will shoot you, and we will say that we have shot you while escaping.” The car stopped, the mask was not removed. Asan thought he was in the forest. One of those who brought him said: “Come on, run, but remember that we shoot well.”

Asan said: “I am not going to run, kill like this, I will not run anywhere.” Then they again threw Asan into the car, brought him to some building, put him into the basement, again onto a chair, tied him with tape, put wires on his ears and started to run electricity. The torture continued until Asan said: “I will sign everything that is needed, I will tell you everything that is needed,” after which he was taken to Simferopol on 13 Franka Boulevard to the FSB Directorate.

There, investigators took Asan from one office to another and interrogated him. It was approximately 05:00-06:00pm on September 4, investigative actions were carried out. They gave a lot of papers, which he signed without reading. Asan said that he had a feeling that he was suffering a rib pain on the left side of his body, but he did not remember whether they had beaten him there. A day later, at about midnight on September 4, the detainees were taken to the temporary detention facility, that is, he did not sleep for 24 hours, ” the lawyer said.

We would remind that on September 7, Russian media published a video of the interrogation of Asan and Aziz Akhtemovs, whom the Russian FSB accuses of sabotage on the gas pipeline in Perevalnoye.

According to the FSB, the sabotage was allegedly organized by the territorial division of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine in Kherson – the Tavria intelligence unit with the participation of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people.

The FSB names Asan and Aziz Akhtemovs actual saboteurs, the deputy chairman of the Mejlis Nariman Dzhelial being an accomplice.

The FSB identifies Riza Yagyayev-Veliulayev, Maxim Martyniuk, Viktor Zelinsky, Kirill Budanov as the sabotage organizers.

The FSB showed a video of the alleged “sabotage” on the gas pipeline in Crimea and the interrogation of the brothers Akhtemov. The first record was published by the propaganda TV channel “Zvezda” in its Telegram channel.

The published video does not show the persons interrogating the Akhtemovs, and it is also not visible whether a lawyer is present during the interrogation. The faces of the detainees are smeared on the video, the recording itself is edited with obvious “splices”.

Such video filming of interrogation not only violates procedural norms, but also indicates illegal methods of investigation, for example, forcing to give false self-testimony, violation of the right to defense, etc.

The statements of the occupation authorities about the involvement of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people and the SBU include this case in the folder of all other politically motivated cases that the Russian authorities are fabricating in Crimea to create an image of an external enemy out of Ukraine and the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people.

Also, similar to previous politically motivated persecutions, the occupation authorities did not inform about the Akhtemovs’ whereabouts for quite a long time and did not allow independent lawyers to see them.

The process of depriving them of their liberty can be regarded as abduction, since the necessary procedures (availability of a lawyer, information about the reasons for the detention and the place of stay of the detainee) were not followed, and a gross violation of the right to liberty and security of person.

The absence of an independent lawyer during a search, arrest and interrogation is a violation of the right to a defense. As in other similar cases, the occupation authorities published a video with “confessions”. This testimony was obtained as a result of illegal methods, including torture, which means that such evidence is inadmissible.

We would remind that at the end of August, 17 people, whom the RF FSB accused during the arrest of “the preparation of sabotage, the possession of weapons and espionage,” are imprisoned. In these cases, illegal methods of investigation and the use of torture to obtain confessions, violation of the presumption of innocence, dissemination of staged videos of “confessions” by the Russian FSB through the Russian media were recorded.

On September 4, security forces conducted five searches in Crimea followed with detaining five Crimean Tatars: Eldar Odamanov, Nariman Dzhelial, deputy head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, cousins Asan and Aziz Akhtemovs, Shevket Useinov. Lawyers were not allowed to see them for 24 hours.

According to the FSB of the Russian Federation, the searches were carried out in connection with the damage to the gas pipeline in Perevalnoye near Simferopol on August 23 though no information on a kind of damage was provided.

Nariman Dzhelial, Asan and Aziz Akhtemovs are accused of sabotage (Article 281 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). According to the investigation, they were allegedly related to the damage to the gas pipeline on 23 August. At the same time, on August 23, Nariman Dzhelial was in Kiev, at the events of the CRIMEA PLATFORM. On September 6, the “Kievsky District Court” of Simferopol arrested Nariman Dzhelial and the Akhtemov brothers for 2 months.

Relatives of the detainees and local residents went out on September 4 under the headquarters of the FSB of Russia in Simferopol to learn about their fate. About 40 people were detained, including activists, citizen journalists and relatives of the detainees. Later they were released, but at least 56 protocols were drawn up for “failure to comply with the rules of conduct in an emergency”, some were kept in custody for two weeks for allegedly violating Art. 19.3 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation (Disobedience to the order of a police man).

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