Dmitry Berezhkov, former vice-president of the Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East (Tromso, Norway)
Zulfira Boyko, Tatar activist (Kyiv, Ukraine)
Alexander Bolkin (Bolyaen Syres), head of the Erzyan Val, Erzya Society of Ukraine (Kyiv, Ukraine)
Dorj Batuu (Andrei Vasilyev), Buryat-Mongol journalist (New York, USA)
Daria Dubnitskaya, Ingrian (Kyiv, Ukraine)
Anzor Kabardov, Circassian activist (New York, USA)
Nafis Kashapov, Tatar Public Center (Warsaw, Poland)
Sagit Khairy, General Secretary of the World League of Tatars (Ankara, Turkey)
On December 28, 2014, the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation detained the Head of the Tatar Public Center Rafis Kashapov in Naberezhnye Chelny, Tatarstan. From January 19 to February 6 Rafis Kashapov was on a hunger strike.
Kashapov was charged with violation of Article 282, Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Incitement of National, Racial or Religious Enmity) for publishing a series of posts in the social networks that criticized the activity of the Russian government in Crimea and Donbas. These are the image “Where Russia [is], there are tears and death” published on July 6, and texts “[Let us] Defend Ukraine and the Whole Turkic World!” (November 23), “Yesterday [there was] Hitler and Danzig, today [there is] Putin and Donetsk!” (November 26), and “Crimea and Ukraine Will Be Free from the Invaders!” (December 1).
The experts of the Information and Analysis Center Sova, Russian human rights organization, declared that “there are no signs of incitement of hatred on the national basis in those materials” and pointed out to numerous procedural violations in Kashapov’s criminal prosecution. Amnesty International published a call for immediate release of Rafis Kashapov.
Unfortunately, the illegal detention of Rafis Kashapov is not a single incident but rather a part of the systematic policy of the current Russian government. During the past year, the courts convicted several other activists of the national movements from the indigenous communities of the Russian Federation.
In particular, in 2014 they condemned President of the Assembly of Peoples of the Caucasus Ruslan Kutaev, Chairman of Milli Mejlis of the Kazan Tatars Fauzia Bairamova, Circassian activist Andzor Akhokhov, Editor-in-Chief of the Chuvash newspaper named ‘Vzyatka’ [the Bribe] Eduard Mochalov. Deputy Chairman of the Executive Committee of The World Qoroltai of the Bashkirs Fanzil Akhmetshin and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Congress of the Ingush people Iles Tatiev continue to serve their prison terms.
There are Kuban, Kaliningrad, and Don regionalists, Crimean Tatar activists and Ukrainian activists of Crimea in detention as well.
The circumstances of each of those cases leave no doubt that the persecution of these individuals is related to their activism. Persecution of some other activists continues. More information on these cases can be found in the reference attached to this Statement.
We demand to stop the persecution of activists of the national movements of the peoples of Russia and to ensure immediate release of the political prisoners Rafis Kashapov, Fanzil Akhmetshin, Ruslan Kutaev, and Iles Tatiev.
We also call on international organizations to pay attention to the above-mentioned cases of persecution of activists and facilitate the release of the political prisoners.
Reference on Сriminal Prosecution of the Activists of the National Movements of the Indigenous Peoples of Russia in 2014
- On February 7, 2014, the Opening Day of the Olympic Games in Sochi, Circassian activists held a rally under the slogan “No to Olympics in the Land of Genocide” in a memory of the 150th anniversary of the ethnic cleansing carried out by the Russian Empire during the Caucasian War. The participants of the rally were arrested and beaten. Then 40 bullets were allegedly found during the search in the apartment of Andzor Akhokhov. On June 30, Akhokov was sentenced to six months of probation. On November 26, after Akhokov’s report on tortures he was subjected to at the Sochi Police Department, his home was searched again.
- On February 18, 2014, President of the Assembly of the Peoples of Caucasus Ruslan Kutaev spoke at a conference, criticizing the decision by Ramzan Kadyrov to cancel activities on the Memorial Day of the Deportation Anniversary of the Chechens in 1944. The same day Kadyrov demanded a meeting with Kutaev, but Kutaev refused it. The next day the Chechen officials started to harass Kutaev, as he told this to his friends. On February 20, 2014 Kutev was detained and on July 7, 2014 he was sentenced to four years of imprisonment for alleged illegal possession of drugs. The Committee against Torture confirmed the use of torture against Ruslan Kutaev, and Amnesty International declared him a prisoner of conscience.
- On October 4, 2014, Fauzia Bairamova, Chairman of the Milli Mejlis of the Tatar People, was sentenced to one year of probation for publishing of reports in social networks on the annexation of Crimea and unjust decision of Russian courts against Muslims.
- Eduard Mochalov, Editor-in-Chief of the Chuvash newspaper ‘Vzyatka’ [the Bribe] was sentenced to corrective labour. This decision was made by the court on November 6, 2014 for publication of the article by Fauzia Bairamova “We are Tatars, and not Russians” in Mr. Mochalov’s newspaper.
- On December 28, 2014, the FSB detained the Head of the Tatar Public Center Rafis Kashapov in Naberezhnye Chelny, Tatarstan. He was charged with the violation of the Article 282, Paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Incitement of National, Racial or Religious Enmity) for publishing a series of posts in the social networks that criticized the activity of the Russian government in Crimea and Donbas. Amnesty International and Information and Analysis Center Sova (local human rights organization) condemned the persecution of Rafis Kashapov. On January 19, 2015, Kashapov went on a hunger strike.
- Deputy Chairman of the Executive Committee of the The World Qoroltai of the Bashkirs Fanzil Akhmetshin and Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Congress of the Ingush People Iles Tatiev continue to serve their prison terms.
Fanzil Akhmetshin was detained on November 29, 2011 at the airport in the city of Ufa, when he returned from a trip with the Bashkir humanitarian mission to help African refugees. Allegedly, drugs were found in his luggage, but before arriving to Ufa Mr. Akhmetshin passed the aviation security checks in several international airports. On March 28, 2013, the politician was sentenced to four years and six months and the “incitement of a religious hatred” was added to the charges against him.
- The Congress of the Ingush People was scheduled on June 9, 2013. On June 5, the founder of the Congress Iles Tatiev was prosecuted for failure to pay the bank loan. The activist was detained in Moscow on June 7 and transferred to Ingushetia. He was sentenced to three years of imprisonment. Now, according to Sarajin Sultigov, it is possible that another criminal case is being manufactured against Tatiev.
Persecution of Bairamova, Kashapov, and Mochalov is evidently related to their activism. The cases of Akhokhov, Kutaev, Akhmetshin, and Tatiev are linked to their participation in the national movements of the indigenous communities. Yet these activists are charged criminally for other alleged activities with evidence apparently fabricated.
- Source : www.change.org
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