This day has become another example of a systematic violation of fundamental human rights in Crimea. On the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Deportation of the Crimean Tatar People, activists, journalists and CHRG documented numerous violations of freedom of peaceful assembly and expression on the peninsula.
The de facto authorities used various ways to discourage peaceful assembly on that day. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation and the prosecutor’s office sent out “frightening” warnings about criminal responsibility to various Crimean Tatar activists. Police officers directly detained people for using Crimean Tatar flags, cleared away the gathered people, prevented access to memorable places where people usually lay flowers. In addition, it is already known that several people are being prosecuted administratively.
According to journalist Anton Naumlyuk, police detained and then released activist Suleiman Kadyrov, who tried to lay flowers to the monument to the victims of deportation in Feodosia.
“Server Kerametov (an elderly man with Parkinson’s disease) was detained in Simferopol for a single picket in Lenin Square. Few more people were detained with him. All detainees were taken explanations regarding an unsanctioned event and released. In addition, another 10 young people were taken to the Central Regional Department of Internal Affairs of Simferopol with the Crimean Tatar flag, “- said Naumlyuk.
Aishe Umerova published a video of Kerametov’s detention.
Police detained 5 cars with Crimeans that were travelling with Crimean Tatar flags in Bakhchisaray. This was reported by activist Ayshe Umerova on her social network page. According to the information of Ayshe Umerova, the drivers of these five cars were issued protocols and explanatory notes were taken. “Then they were sent to court, they face a fine of 10,000 rubles. Passengers will be held as witnesses. Seems like three more cars appear on police video, they are now being searched “, – wrote Ayshe Umerova.
Later, Umerova added that the courts over the Crimeans that were detained in Bakhchisaray will begin tomorrow, on 19 May from 14.00, half an hour for each: “Five court listenings over the drivers, the rest will apparently pass as witnesses. Potential fines are 10,000 rubles. The activists were released to their homes before the trial. ”
According to lawyer Nikolai Polozov, the court session on the case of Ahtem Chiygoz in Simferopol was cancelled. In his view, the reason for the cancellation is that the Crimean Tatars were going to go to lay flowers together with the victims of the deportation after the court session.
In Feodosia, the Interior Ministry officials did not allow Crimeans to lay flowers to the monument to the deceased during the deportation. The police accused people who come to lay flowers and worship a prayer, in organizing of an unauthorized mass event. Video about this activists posted in the social network Facebook.
In Simferopol, Russian police officers stopped and detained activist Osman Izmailov. The officers demanded to remove the national flag, but the activist refused. The policeman insisted that the driving with the Crimean flag is prohibited by the laws of the Russian Federation even for one car. After several minutes of talking with the policeman, Izmailov was released. The activist published a video of detention in Facebook.
Osmanov said that during the day he was detained several times.
The day before, on 17 May, the Crimean Prosecutor’s Office announced the warnings to Ilmi Umerov, Nariman Dzhelalov, Lemmar Yunusov, Emina Avamileva, Ilver Ametov and other Crimean Tatar activists about the “inadmissibility of violation of the law” and “extremist activities” on the Day of Remembrance of the Crimean Tatar people.
The head of the CHRG, Olga Skrypnik, called such actions of the Russian police officers a gross interference in the freedom of peaceful assembly:
“The Russian authorities again violated the basic principles of freedom of peaceful assembly: the presumption in favour of holding meetings, the obligation of the authorities to promote peaceful assembly and their protection, proportionality and non-discrimination. The collected facts of gross violations of freedom of assembly and expression of opinions on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Deportation of the Crimean Tatar People will be handed over to relevant international institutions by the CHRG experts,” – the human rights activist said.