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Russia detains leader of Crimean Tatar resistance movement

Dilyaver Memetov. Photo: RFE / RL
Russia detains leader of Crimean Tatar resistance movement
Article by: Yuliia Rudenko
Edited by: Alya Shandra
On 26 November, Simferopol, Crimea saw the detention of civic society leader Dilyaver Memetov, reports. The police, led by captain Aleksei Kuznietsov, arrested the activist near the Crimean Garrison Military Court. On that day, the court considered another terrorism (or political) case against ten Crimean Tatars. And Dilyaver Memetov came to the hearing.

This event is a part of Russia’s attack on the Crimean Tatars, indigenous people of the peninsula, who have since 2014 put up primary resistance to Moscow’s landgrab. As of today, 127 Crimeans are imprisoned in Crimea or Russia on political, national, and religious grounds. Foreign leaders and missions, leading human rights organizations have called upon Russia for their release.

Dilyaver Memetov was detained for his appearance three days earlier at the meeting of Edem Semedlyaev, a human rights lawyer who defends Crimean Tatars in political cases.

Memetov was among a few dozens of Crimean Tatars who gathered at the detention centre in Simferopol where the lawyer was held.

Edem Semedliayev was punished by a 12-day administrative arrest for his refusal to, first, get fully undressed to get a check for having extremists tattoos on the order of chief Centre for Combating Extremism Ruslan Shambazov. The lawyer’s other “misconduct” was the refusal to stop the recording of the proceedings against him, although it was in accordance with the law.

The Russian military prepared in advance to “greet” Crimean Tatars who came to support Edem Semedliayev on the last day of his arrest. Before the gathering started, the officers arrived on a bus and detained 32 people, including ten women and five citizen journalists.

As for Dilyaver Memetov, he was arrested for 12 days as the alleged organizer of a public gathering of 23 November in support of Semedliayev for alleged “violation of the established procedure for organizing or holding an assembly.”

“This is punishment for people seeking to peacefully greet their lawyer, the people’s defender, this is punishment for all who remains indifferent and wants to show support this way,”

Rustem Kiamiliayev, Dilyaver Memetov’s lawyer, commented on the detention.

Russia arrests, fines 30 Crimean Tatars celebrating release of their unjustly imprisoned lawyer with a 50-kilo cake

The fact that Dilyaver Memetov was among those arrested is no coincidence. He is a coordinator of Crimean Solidarity, a social movement established on 9 April 2016 by the effort of relatives of political prisoners, lawyers, and activists as an informal human rights organization for the protection of the victims of Putin’s political repressions.

Russia tried to break the Crimean Tatars. Their non-violent resistance only grew stronger.

The emergence of this peaceful resistance movement is the response of the Crimean Tatar people to occupation authorities’ outlawing the Crimean Tatars’ representative body, criminalizing their media, abducting and torturing people, as well as imprisoning dozens on charges of human rights activists say are fabricated.

Edited by: Alya Shandra
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