Escalating repressions in occupied Crimea: Russia detained key defense attorney

Nikolai Polozov being interrogated inside the FSB building in Simferopol in Russia-annexed Crimea (Image: Anton Naumlyuk, Ukrayinska Pravda)

Nikolai Polozov being interrogated inside the FSB building in Simferopol in Russia-annexed Crimea (Image: Anton Naumlyuk, Ukrayinska Pravda) 

Crimea, News

On Wednesday, 25 January, 2017 in Russia-occupied Crimea, the Federal Security Service (FSB) detained Nikolai Polozov, the legal defender of two high-profile Crimean Tatar activists Ahtem Chiygoz and Ilmi Umerov. If the Russian security service succeeds in its attempt at changing Polozov’s status  to a witness in the case of Ilmi Umerov, then he will no longer be able to defend Umerov.

Earlier Polozov voiced his fears that the FSB will attempt to bring him in by force for an interrogation in the case of his client. In November 2016 Polozov stated that the FSB investigator in the case of Umerov, who is accused by the Russian Federation of “separatism,” is trying to remove him from the trial by changing his status to that of a witness in the case and attempting to interrogate the advocate.

“The investigator has no grounds for questioning me as a witness. The Law on Advocacy of the Russian Federation, Article 8, imposes a direct ban on lawyer’s questioning as a witness about circumstances he learned in the course of providing legal defense” – the defender of Crimean Tatars stated.

The arrest of lawyer Nikolai Polozov, who is defending Ilmi Umerov, the deputy chairman of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, indicates escalating repressions against Crimean Tatars in Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia almost two years ago.

“This is another manifestation of the policy of pressure and intimidation that is traditional for the country and the occupier regime,” – Emine Dzheppar, First Deputy Minister of Information Policy of Ukraine, wrote on his Facebook page.

In turn, the head of the Mejlis Refat Chubarov said that the Russian FSB has set the goal to completely isolate repressed Crimean Tatars from their defenders.

He said that Nikolai Polozov’s interrogation is conducted by two FSB investigators: Igor Skripka, who leads the case against Umerov, and Vladimir Shevchenko, a defector from the Security Service of Ukraine.

Polozov’s client Ilmi Umerov said on the air to Channel 112 that if Polozov will be deprived of the right to defend him, then there is a possibility that his defense will be headed by another Russian lawyer Mark Feigin. Umerov noted that there are local lawyers as well.


Translated by: A. N.

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  • туфтуф

    Classified: Savchenko rotting in Russian prison. Her “role”played by a man called Bezrukov, an FSB agent.

    • Quartermaster

      Drugged and stupid is no way to go through life Toto.

      • туфтуф


  • zorbatheturk

    RuSSkiys are scumballs. Is anyone surprised?

  • Dirk Smith

    Once this third-world’s economy collapses this year, it needs to be dismembered like Yugoslavia. Muscovy, as history shows, is the cancer of humanity.

    • Alex George

      I suspect it will just fall apart without needing outside help.

  • Alex George

    Amazing how fearful the Kremlin regime in Crimea is – they do not even dare allow an accused to have a lawyer!

  • туфтуф

    They will all be freed if they are found not guilty. If one has to choose who Crimea should belong to, Russia or China, Russia had by far a better human rights record. In China, public executions are a rule, rather than exception. And they are carried out in the legally occupied Tibet too. On the other hand, if Russians sold Crimea to China, l am sure that it would grow faster economically. Ukraine is too poor to afford Crimea. And it is a spot of strategic importance to Russia. Status quo is best.