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Rustem Gugurik Sentenced to 8.5 Years in Penal Colony On Charges of Serving in Crimean Tatar Battalion

Mr.Rustem Gugurik, a Crimean Tatar, a resident of Novooleksiyivka, was sentenced to 8.5 years in custody for allegedly serving in the ‘Noman Chelebidzhikhan Battalion’.

As reported by the CHRG, the sentence under RF CC Article 208-2 (service in the military unit that is not stipulated by a federal law) was awarded by Olga Kuznetsova, ‘judge’ of ‘Kievskiy District Court’ of Simferopol.

Mr.Rustem Gugurik is reported to plead innocent.

As reported, Rustem Gugurik, a resident of Novooleksiyivka, Kherson region, was detained on March 27 at Chongar while trying to enter Crimea. He was accused of committing a crime under RF CC Article 208-2 – allegedly for serving in the battalion named after Noman Chelebidzhikhan. As GRATY wrote, in peacetime, the Crimean Tatar with a large family worked as a taxi driver – he was driving people to Chongar and back. This time, due to the Russian invasion, he tried to take his family to relatives in Bakhchisaray, but he never arrived.

In 2016, Rustem and his brother Bekir Gugurik received notices on banning the entry into Crimea until 2021.

To remind: on September 21, Ruslan Abdurakhmanov, citizen of Ukraine aged 31, was sentenced to 5 years in the maximum security regime penal colony for the alleged service in the“Crimean Tatar Volunteer Battalion named after Noman Chelebidzhikhan”. The FSB reported that Mr.Abdurakhmanov had been allegedly detained when he attempted to cross the border.

As reported by the CHRG, the official reason for persecuting the accused in Crimea under RF CC Article 208-2 (Service in the illegal military formation which activity objectives contradict the interests of the Russian Federation) is that they failed to come voluntarily to the RF law enforcement bodies and declare their service in the ‘Crimean Tatar Noman Chelebidzhikhan Volunteer Battalion”. The evidence of the battalion actions against the RF interests declared by the investigation is the information of mass media that the purpose of the battalion establishment was to de-occupy Crimea.

The CHRG considers the persecution for serving in Noman Chelebidzhikhan battalion as politically motivated.

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