Fazil Ibraimov and his wife Mumine were detained on February 15, 2018 in Simferopol at 10 am, when they were together on their wat to their son in the Strelkovoie village. According to Mumine, they were approached by a police car. One of the policemen introduced himself as Lieutenant Ruslan Fedchenko. He asked the Ibraimov family for a passports to check, after they were put in a car and driven for an hour and a half around the city without explaining the reasons. About 11:30 the Ibraimovs were taken to their house located in the Ak-Mechet district. A few more official vehicles drove up there, including a wagon and a bus with security officials. Police officer read out the resolution to conduct a search to Ibraimov spouses.
Ibraimov was informed that a criminal case was opened against him for the fraud (Article 222 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Allegedly, he collected money from the participants of the “polyana protesta” (protest glade) “Strelkovaya”, for at least seven years, for assistance in obtaining this land in the property. In the search protocol, according to the wife of Ibraimov, four names that are being called victims affected by the “actions” of the activist are indicated, as well as the total amount of damage in the amount of 4.8 million rubles. According to Mumine Ibraimova, she and Fazil Ibraimov do not know these people and the activist did not take any money from them. A copy of the search warrant was not given to Ibraimov.
As a result of the search registered hunting weapons of Fazil Ibraimov, which was stored in his safe, was seized.
After the search, Ibraimov was taken away by the officers. According to the Russian-controlled website Kryminform, the policemen are still deciding whether to detain Fazil Ibraimov.
Mumine Ibraimova also said that today was the 10th day of the hunger strike, which Fazil Ibraimov announced to draw the attention of Russian President Putin and the public to the problem of the residents of the “Strelkovaya” area. Ibraimov is 62 years old and he suffers from chronic diseases: diabetes and hypertension.
Earlier, one more criminal case was initiated against the activist, for the storage of cartridges (Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). The Crimean human rights group reported that on December 7, 2017 searches were also carried out in the house of the activist’s son and in his own house, as a result of which documents related to the land were confiscated at the Strelkovaya “polyana protesta” and cartridges from the PMR gun.
According to the activist Rinat Shaymardanov, who was present during the search near the Ibraimovs’ house, the persecution against Fazil Ibraimov was started by the Crimean authorities long time ago. “Threats “to sort it out” repeatedly came to Fazil Ibraimov from different sources. However, in the most active phase of the persecution of the activist is today – on the very day when he was supposed to meet with “the State Councilor of Crimea” Lentun Bezaziev,” – said Shaymardanov.
Fazil Ibraimov is taking part in public activities, he has for several years defended the interests of people living in the “Strelkovaya” area. Until 2014 residents of the “Strelkovaya” failed to complete the procedure for issuing documents for the land. The Crimean authorities call the “Strelkovaya” a land squatting. The territory where houses and mosques are located, was transferred to the Akura company by the occupation authorities. It is planned to build there a new Simferopol micro-district “Crimean Rose”.
On February 2, 2018, an article was published on the Kryminform website, in which Valery Semenenko, director of the Akura construction company, stated that two criminal cases against Fazil Ibraimov have been opened, for which he faces up to 10 years of imprisonment. After the protest of the activists, regarding the source of the information and how Semenenko could know about these criminal cases, the article disappeared, but the activists managed to take screenshots.
In August 2017, the “Zheleznodorozhny District Court” of Simferopol appointed an administrative detention for 5 days for Ibraimov for failure to obey the lawful order or demand of a police officer (Part 1, Article 19.3 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation), following an activist’s speech at public hearings on the development of the “Crimean Rose” settlement.
Experts of the Crimean Human Rights Group note that the “Vedzhie Kashka case”, in which are Asan Chapukh, Bekir Degermenji and other activists are the defendants, and this new case against Fazil Ibrahimov show that the occupation authorities of Crimea have developed and apply new tactics to civic activists – a discredit tactic. The task of this tactic is to discredit the activists and present them not as fighters for rights of those defending public interests, but as swindlers interested in their financial well-being.