А deliberate policy of the total ban of freedom of thought, speech and expression is being conducted by the occupying power at the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The Russian Federation has continually demonstrated to the international community severe violations of basic rights of citizens of Ukraine who live in the temporarily occupied territories of Crimea.
- Violations of the fundamental rights and freedoms of people in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
The categories of violations of basic human rights include attacks on media offices, murders, assaults, kidnappings, intimidation, detention, interrogations, imprisonment of journalists, public figures and activists, searches of houses and mosques, banning citizens from entering Crimea, restriction in access to meetings of the authorities including the courts, placing pro-Ukrainian journalists on the so-called “list of terrorists” of the Russian Federation, censorship, the ban of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people and continuous pressure on theCrimean Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
As evidence of the repressive policy of the Russian Federation against citizens of Ukraine, who live in Crimea, particularly Crimean Tatars, today in Crimea, there are 17 missing, 12 deceased, 39 political prisoners, including the following
10 imprisoned (V. Vigovsky sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment for “spying”, O. Sentsov sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment for “the establishment of a terrorist organization” and “committing terrorist acts”, O. Kolchenko sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment for “committing terrorist acts”, O. Cherny sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment for “preparation of terrorist acts”, O. Kostenko sentenced to 4 years and 2 months of imprisonment for “the light harm caused by the motives of ideological hatred”, R. Zeytullaev sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment forreligious beliefs, R. Vaitov sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment for religious beliefs, Y. Primov sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment for religious beliefs, a resident of Sevastopol (name is unknown) sentenced to 3 years on probation for “extremist post in VK”, A. Kolomiets sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment) аccording to the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people, state organization “Crimean Tatar resource center”, human rights organizations, and media.
Just during the period from January 2016 up to now the public organization “Crimean Tatar Recourse Center” recorded 15 violations of freedom of movement, 20 violations of freedom of belief, 7 violations of freedom of peaceful gatherings, 14 violations of freedom and expression of thoughts and views, 25 violations of rights of indigenous people and national minorities, 67 violations of the rights to a just court as well as judicial assistance, 11 violations regarding the transfer of political prisoners from Crimea, 6 violations of rights to health protection and medical aid, 21 violations of laws of property, including land law, 21 violations including illegal crossing of the border of Ukraine.
During this period the de facto law enforcement of the Russian Federation in Crimea conducted 112 questionings, 91 searches, and 107 people are detained. The number is rapidly increasing.
The international non-government organization Freedom House reports that Russia and occupied Crimea in terms of political, civil, and the general level of freedom and human rights are “not free”. On a 100 scale (where 100 is the worst) Crimea was given 94 points which is almost on the same level as Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Recent cases according to the human rights organizations and the media, recent cases:
- October 12, 2016, the investigative committee representatives came to the apartment of Anatoliy Maret, the leader of the “National liberation movement” branch in Sevastopol to conduct a search. Maret was not home, and his wife did not allow the investigators to enter the apartment. Soon Anatoliy Maret came home, who voluntarily gave the investigators his personal computer. The Investigative Committee opened a criminal case into slander against the judge, who sentenced a developer Mykola Sokolov. According to the investigation, the disclosure of information by Anatoliy Maret insulted honor and dignity of the judge, discredited his professional reputation.
- October 18, 2016, at the day time the staff of the border service of FSB of the Russian Federation at the checkpoint “Chonhar” detained the Crimean Tatar Sevket Velilyaev. His wife, Anna Velilyaeva informed CHRG (Crimean human rights group) that the man talked with the FSB officers more than 4 hours. His mobile phone and documents were temporarily seized. Under such conditions, employees of the FSB are required to draw a report, but this was not done. After four hours of detention, Velilyaev was released. He went to Bakhchisarai, where he lives.
- October 19, 2016, Archbishop of Simferopol and Crimea of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate Klymentyn said that the Russian border guards during one hour kept him at the checkpoint without explaining the reasons for such detention.
- October 26, 2016, apartment of activist Oleksiy Shestakovych was searched in Simferopol. Shestakovych reported that he was detained on the street, and then taken with witnesses to his house. During the search, nothing was found. Shestakovych published the protocol of inspection of the home, where it is stated that as a result of the search two hard drives from the computer were seized and transferred to the FSB of the Russian Federation. The search was made by “commander” Shambazov Ruslan, a former police officer of Ukraine. On 17 September 2016, he drew a protocol on the publication of “extremist” post on the social network by Shestakovych in 2010. In this case, “Railway court” of Simferopol sentenced Oleksiy Shestakovych to a fine of 1,000 rubles. Also, in January 2016,Shambazov was detained blogger Zaire Kadyrov, who came to the hearing in the “26th February case”.
- October 27, 2016, the judge of the Supreme court of the Crimea Halyna Redko left without changes a sentence of “Kyiv district court” of Simferopol in relation to the Ukrainian Andriy Kolomiets. On June 10, the judge Belousov found him guilty and sentenced him to 10 years of imprisonment in a colony with a strict regime. Defense appealed the verdict, but the judge rejected all petitions of the lawyer Mykhailo Kushpelya.
- Despite the article 49 of the Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war, the Russian authorities continue to transfer the citizens of Ukraine against their will from places of deprivation of liberty on the territory of Crimea to correctional institutions on the territory of the Russian Federation. According to the expert of the Regional centre for human rights, a lawyer Roman Martynovskiy, during the occupation of the Crimea no less than 2,200 Ukrainian citizens who were imprisoned, among them 240 women, have been transfered to the correctional institutions of the Russian Federation. In addition, according to the expert, the citizen of Ukraine Valeriy Kerimov (born in Henichesk) died September 8, 2016 in the penal colony № 1 of the Republic of Adyhea (Russian Federation). He was transferred from the correctional institutions of the Crimea to this Russiaт colony. He was sick with hepatitis and tuberculosis, he was not provided with timely medical care, as the result he died. Another citizen of Ukraine, Serhiy Hlynyanyk from Sevastopol, died 30 August 2016 in detention unit -1 of Simferopol also from the absence of medical care. As for the other two citizens of Ukraine, there are serious concerns for their lives. Yuriy Sayenko is in IK-2 in Rostov-on-Don, and Leyla Huseynova is in the detention center of Simferopol, these persons are in need of urgent medical care.
- In Crimea, conscription to the armed forces of the Russian Federation was announced in the autumn. According to official statements of the de facto authorities, it is planned to mobilize about 1,500 residents of the Crimea to the Russian army during the campaign. Crimeans who will join the armed forces in the course of this mobilization campaign, will serve on the territory of Crimea. Starting in spring of 2017, residents of Crimea will perform military service on the territory of the Russian Federation. De facto Military Commissioner of the Crimea Anatoliy Maloletko stated that a criminal investigation into conscription evasion was opened in respect of one of the residents of the Crimea.
- November 9, the “Lenin district court” of Sevastopol arrested 3 Ukrainians accused of preparing acts of sabotage by the occupation authorities of the Russian Federation.
As reported, the FSB of the Russian Federation stated about the alleged detention of the participants of the “terrorist group of the Main intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of defence of Ukraine” in Sevastopol, who allegedly planned to “commit acts of sabotage on objects of military infrastructure and life-support of Crimea”.
In Russia, names of the following Ukrainian detainees in Crimea labled “saboteurs” were made public: Bessarabov Oleksiy, Shtyblikov Dmytro, Dudko Volodymyr.
The Crimean human rights group has recorded a violation of the right to protection in the case of the Crimean Volodymyr Dudka accused of sabotage. The attorney, hired by the relatives of the detained in the Crimea Dudka to protect him, was not warned about the interrogation of his client.
November 21, another two Ukrainian “saboteurs” Oleksiy Stohniy and Hlib Shablia were detained and arrested.
9. On the morning of 8 December the Russian Federal Security Service detained Ukrainian activist Vladimir Balukh. The searches were carried out for 4 hours in the homes of Ukrainian activist Vladimir Balukh and his mother. After the searches the activist was detained.
10. 12th of January, activist of the Ukrainian Cultural Center Andrei Vinogradov has been detained by the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia in Simferopol (Crimea) and taken for questioning. The Ukrainian Cultural Centre of Crimea was created after the Russian annexation of the peninsula. This is a public organization created to preserve the language and culture of the Ukrainians on the peninsula. The founders of the Centre do not pose any political challenge.
11. Russian lawyer Nikolay Polozov, who defends a number of senior Crimean Tatar figures, has been detained by the Federal Security Service (FSB) in Simferopol and released after several hours.
- Violations of rights of Crimean Tatars – indigenous people of Crimea
The repressive machine of the “occupation authorities” of the Russian Federation in Crimea is mainly directed against the indigenous people of Crimea – the Crimean Tatars. Crimean Tatars openly boycotted the so-called referendum which was held on the 16th of March 2016 as well as illegal elections on the 14th of September 2014. In order to suppress the non-violent resistance, the occupation authorities started the campaign of persecution and shaping their image as an internal enemy. Because of their public disagreement of the occupation of Crimea, the Crimean Tatars are the most oppressed group in Crimea.
The defacto “Crimean authorities” started this systematical discrimination toward Crimean Tatars based on national, ethnical, and religious aspects. The repressive policy of the aggressor state which is being realized in Crimea by the totalitarian regime toward the indigenous people is today aimed at the complete elimination of the Crimean Tatars from their homeland on the Crimean Peninsula.
The following facts serve as evidence of the persecution of Crimean Tatars, which provide us with the general image of the various methods and repressive policies used by the occupation authorities. Аccording to the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar people, state organization “Crimean Tatar resource center”, human rights organizations, and media:
- Among Crimean Tatars 28 political prisoners ( A. Chiygoz, A. Asanov,
M. Dehermendzhy, M. Alivapov, Z. Abseyitov, R. Myemyetov, R. Abiltarov, E. Mamutov,
R. Vayitov, E.-U. Kuku, M. Aliyev, R. Zyeytullayev, F. Sayfullyev, E. Bekirov, R. Alimov,
A. Dzhepparov, H. Jemilev, M. Yahyayev, E. Emirvaliyev, E. Userov T. Yunusov,
Т. Аbdullaev); 11 disappeared (R. Hanayev, I. Dzhepparov, J. Islyamov, M. Arislanov, R. Haniyev,E. Apsyelyamov, M. Alyautdinov , A. Aliyev, T. Shaymardanov, S. Zinyedinov,
E. Ibragimov); 9 deceased (E. Ismailov, J. Melyasanov, R. Amyetov, B. Bilialov, E. Asanov,
M. Kachok, O. Ibragimov, M. Selimov, M. Aliyev).
- Recognition by the “supreme court” of Crimea of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatars as an extremist organization and its ban in Crimea.
- The imposition of an administrative penalty on the Crimean Tatar activists Ilmi Umerov, Sevket Kaybulla, Sadykh Tabah, Ali Khamzin, Enver Kurtiev, Bekir Mamutov, Emine Avamileva, Dilavera Akyeva for participation in the meeting of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, whose activities are prohibited by “the Supreme court of the Crimea” of April 26, 2016.
- 4. Criminal prosecution of deputies of the head of Mejlis Chiygoz and I. Umerov. Against Chiygoz the criminal case was initiated for him taking part in the meeting organized in front of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea on the 26th of February 2014 by part 1 article 2012 of the criminal code of the Russian Federation – “Organization of Mass Disturbances”. The so-called court of Crimea rejects the appeals and prolongs the terms of detention of Akhtem Chiygoz. Against Umerov the criminal case is initiated, Part 2 Article 2080.1 of the criminal code of the Russian Federation – “public calls for the actions aimed at violating the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation”. As a consequence, the agents of the FSB of the Russian Federation forcibly sentUmerov to the Psychiatric Hospital for expert psychological evaluation. At this time, Umerov is under recognizance not to leave.
- 5. Crimean Tatar activists are also facing criminal persecution for theirmeeting against the separation from Ukraine on the 26th February 2014 – T. Yunusova, A. Asanova, M. Dehermendzhy.
- 6. The banning of entering Crimea for the leaders of the Crimean Tatars and activists, among them Mustafa Dzhemilev, Refat Chubarov, Sinaver Kadyrov, İsmet Yüksel and others.
- 7. Criminal Prosecution of the participants of the peaceful demonstration against the ban to enter Crimea of the Crimean Tatar leader, Mustafa Dzhemilev on the 3rd of May 2014
T. Smedlyayeva, Usmanov, R. Abdurakchmanova, E. Ebulisova , M. Abkerymova were fined.
- Administrative prosecution.
- October 4, 2016, Sadykh Tabakh, Sevket Kaybullaeva and Bekir Mamutov were sentenced to fines by the “court” of Bakhchisarai for participation in meetings of the Mejlis as “a public organization forbidden in Russia and in Crimea.” Kaybullaeva was sentenced to a fine in the amount of 500 rubles, Tabakh and Mamutov to 750 rubles.
- October 14, 2016, the “court” of Bakhchisarai sentenced the head of Mejlis education department Emine Avamileva to a fine of 750 rubles.
- October, 20, 2016, a member of the Mejlis Abduraman Agiz was sentenced to a fine of 750 rubles.
- October 24, 2016, a court fined Delavera Akyev in the amount of 500 rubles. At the end of October, hearings on the same administrative issues took place in relation to Mustafa Maushev and Zeinur Yakubov. Administrative case against a member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Maushev was opened due to the visit of the Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis Ilmi Umerov in connection with his discharge from a psychiatric clinic, and also for the congratulations to the Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov on his happy birthday.
- October 27, 2016, for the second time hearing on the administrative case of four of the Crimean Tatars took place in Sudak. This time Alim Muslyadinov, Ablyakimov Ablyakim, Enver Chavush, Seytumerov Seytmamut were found guilty of the administrative offense. Each of them was sentenced to a fine in the amount of 20 non-taxable minimum incomes of citizens.
- Forcible seizure of the only Crimean Tatar Television Channel ATR and prohibition of its activity in Crimea on the 26th of January 2015.
- Prohibition to hold a peaceful meeting as a commemoration of the Deportation of Crimean Tatars on the 18th of May.
- 1 Conducting Searches in Mejlis, Crimean Tatar houses, mosques, and the buildings of Crimean Tatar newspapers and magazines “Avdet” and “Jany Dugny”, and the fundraising organization Crimea, and Crimean Tatar cafes.
Recent cases according to the human rights organizations and the media, recent cases:
- On 5th of October in the house of Suleiman Kadyrov, the member of the Feodosia Regional Mejlis, by the representatives of the FSB was conducted a search under the order of the “judge” Rodionov Igor Ivanovich. Suleiman Kadyrov is suspected in the calls aimed at violating of territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, based on his words “Crimea is Ukraine” in the reporting on March 29 in support of the Crimean Tatar battalion “Asker”. His laptop and phone were taken away and he was promised in the coming days to be invited for a questioning in the Center “E” at the address. Decambristov, 19.
- On October 11, during the interrogation of Suleiman Kadyrov in FSB, it became known that FSB opened a criminal case under part 2 article 280.1 of the RF Criminal code: Public appeals to implementation of actions aimed at violating the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, committed with the use or electronic media or information and telecommunications networks (Internet inclusive) against him. Lawyer Emil Kurbedinov said that the FSB investigator refused to provide a copy of the decision on the excitation of a criminal case, which is a gross failure to comply with procedural rules.
- On 18 October, the FSB briefed Suleiman Kadyrov on the decree about carrying out of the linguistic examination, during the analysis of a video message content by Demyan Demechenko and Kadyrov’s comment to this material. According to another lawyer Andryi Sabinin, the defenders of Kadyrov took a pledge of secrecy from the FSB representatives regarding investigative actions in the criminal case.
- 12 October of this year, the houses of Rustem Ismailov, Uzeyir Abdullayev, Timur Abdullaev, Emilia Dzhemadinova and Aider Samedinov in the settlements of Kamianka and Strohanovka had been searched in connection with suspicion of involvement in terrorist organizations. After the search, FSB representatives took E. Dzhemadinov and A. Saidenov for questioning.
- On October 13, a so-called Kyiv district court of Simferopol made a decision on imprisonment for two months earlier detainee T. Abdullayev, who was accused by the Russian “law enforcement” of involvement in banned in Russia organization “Hizb ut-Tahrir”.
- On October 20, the houses of Enver and Asan Serverov, Enver Abduvaliev, Server Abdulaliev in Bakhchisaray had been searched within anti-terrorist actions, on suspicion of participation or support of Noman Chelebidzhihan battalion. The searches ended with the seizure of the computer.
- 12. Conducting interrogations with the members of the Mejlis and Crimean Tatar activists.
- 8. Initiation of the “Case of Crimean Tatar Muslims” which led to the prosecution of the organization “Hizbut Tahrir” as a result of a 2003 decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation where it was labeled as a terrorist organization and prohibited in the Russian Federation.
Recent cases according to the human rights organizations and the media, recent cases:
- On 13 October, a so-called Kyiv district court of Simferopol made a decision on imprisonment for two months earlier detainee T. Abdullayev, who was accused by the Russian “law enforcement” of involvement in banned in Russia organization “Hizb ut-Tahrir”.
- A new administrative case was opened against a member of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Mustafa Maushev for visiting the Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis Ilmi Umerov in connection with his discharge from a psychiatric clinic, as well as for a birthday congratulation to the Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Refat Chubarov. A trial will take place on 2 November 2016.
- November 3, 2016, the Russian occupation authorities appointed a forced psychological evaluation for six of the Crimean Tatars, whom they accuse of involvement in the organization “Hizb-ut-Tahrir”. November 3, 2016, the lawyer Emil Kurdedinov wrote about this on his page on Facebook. All six defendants in the “case of Hizb-ut-Tahrir” are six arrested in Yalta (Yalta, Alushta, Krasnokamenka): Aliyev, M., Siruk S., Bakirov, I., Kuku E-U., Alimov R., Dzhepparov A. these Crimean Tatars spoke in support of Ilmi Umerov, who had previously undergone such forced psychological evaluation.
- November 17, another detained in the Crimea on the “case of Hizb ut-Tahrir”, Muslum Aliyev was forcibly taken to a psychiatric hospital.
- Announcing of the list of terrorist and extremists by the Federal Service for Financial Monitoring of the Russian Federation in which the Crimean Tatars were included.
- November 7, 2016, Nedim Khalilov, the coordinator of the “Resistance Movement of the Crimean Tatars” has been deported outside of the peninsula by the decision of the “court”. He was placed in a filtration camp, from where he was further deported to Uzbekistan”. As known, in February 2016 Nedim Khalilov filed a statement of claim to the “Central court” Simferopol in which asked to recognize the actions of the occupation authorities, as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin unlawful and illegal. In the “court” Khalilov asked to give the Crimean Tatar people special status and to recognize it as the indigenous people of Crimea.
- Emil Kurbedinov, the lawyer of Crimean Tatar origin, has been detained in the occupied Crimea, as the suspect in ‘extremism’. He was accused of an administrative violation, which was allegedly a couple of social network posts; these posts contained photos and videos from the rally of Hizb-Ut Tahrir organization. Since it was banned in the peninsula by the respective decree in 2014, the court ruled that these materials pose a violation of the Russian law and arrested Kurbedinov for 10 days.
Emil Kurbedinov and his fellow Edem Semedlyayev came to support the Saliyev family, the Crimean Tatar activists, whose house was searched by the Russian federal security service. Kurbedinov was detained by the road traffic police before he reached their house. The Crimean Tatar activist Seyran Saliyev is charged under two articles of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation. He is charged under Article 20.29 of the Administrative Code of Russia – Distributing of extremist materials, and Article 20.3 – Propaganda or public demonstration of Nazi paraphernalia or symbols, propaganda or public demonstration of which is prohibited by federal laws. Seyran Saliev was convicted and arrested for 12 days under decision of “judges”.
- On February 21st, the Crimean Tatar activist Marlen Mustafaev was arrested. He organized the transfer of products and necessities to the political prisoners. Mustafayev was charged for posting extremist posts in social networks in the summer of 2014, screenshots of which were not even demonstrated. Despite the lack of any evidence, the court found him guilty and sentenced him to 11 days of administrative arrest. Together with him 10 people, who came to the house of Marlen during the search, were arrested: Ruslan Suleymanov, Osman Arifmemetov, Remzi Bekirov, Mejit Abdurakhmanov, Abdurakhmanov Ablakim, Waleed Abu Farid/Valery Grigoriev, Seyran Murtazayev, Alim Karimov, Rize Izetov, Enver Taskov. They photographed the representatives of the occupying police authorities outside the house on their own phones, as media in the occupied Crimea fears to cover such events. They were detained and accused for “violating public order”.The occupation court sentenced them to 5 days of administrative arrest.
III. Violation of the freedom of speech in Crimea
The situation in regard to media and news services in the temporarily occupied Crimea is described as “an information ghetto”. According to the statistics from the Institute of Mass Information for the period of March 2014 to September 2016 in Crimea 195 cases of freedom violations, including pressure on the media: in 2014 – 117 cases of violation, in 2015 – 48 cases of violation, in 2016 – 30 cases of violation.
As evidence of the total ban of freedom of speech in Crimea may serve the following facts:
- Ukrainian TV channels are shut down, illegal broadcasting of local licensees of Roskomnadzor is being provided; 60 Ukrainian websites in Crimea are blocked, including Internet resources “Ukrainskaya Pravda”, “NovoeVremya”, “Radio Liberty”, “Ostrov”, TSN, 24 TV, “Tyzden”, “Segodnya”, “Crimea.Realii” amid others. There are functioning Russian TV channels and alternate local media of the occupying “power” in Crimea, for instance, the Tatar TV channel “Millet”.
- The only Crimean Tatar channel in the world, ATR, the children’s channel “Lyalye”, Black Sea Broadcasting Company, Information Agency “Center of Journalistic Investigations”, “Events Crimea”, “15 minutes”, “Bleack Sea News”, “Qirim Haber Ajansi”, and “GrazhdanskayaSamoborona” were forced to leave Crimea and move to the mainland of Ukraine.
- The adoption of the new Article 280.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation is proof of the violation of freedom of speech. This article imposes penalties for speaking out against the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, especially through the use of mass media or on the internet (for instance, the criticism of the status of Crimea as a part of Russia or support of its restitution with Ukraine in the media, social networks or in public places). The adoption of the so-called “anti-terrorism” Yarovaya Law, allows the authorities of the Russian Federation to gain access to all telephone conversations and emails of all Russian citizens, to investigate them for supposed allegations such as failure to report crimes such as terrorism, seizure of power, attempts on the life of a statesman, punishment for proselytization, or other involvement in organizing riots.
Recent cases according to the human rights organizations and the media, recent cases:
- October 11, the “Supreme court” of Crimea has upheld the decision of the “Kyiv district court” of Simferopol on banning journalist Mykola Semena to leave outside the Crimean border. Earlier, the journalist’s lawyers petitioned for cancellation travel restriction for treatment of M. Semena in Kyiv.
- October 20, Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis Ilmi Umerov was summoned to FSB. Criminal case under part 2 of article 280.1 of the RF Criminal code: “Public calls to actions aimed at violating the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, committed with the use of information-telecommunication networks (Internet inclusive)” was initiated against him for his public statements about the fact that Crimea is the territory of Ukraine. He was acquainted with the results of the linguistic and forensic medical examination. According to Umerov, the conclusions of the linguistic examination have confirmed that his appearances on channel ATR on 19 Mar 2016 contained calls for the destruction of the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation. He was also told, that psychiatric examination indicates the absence of a mental illness.
- October 21, according to the press service of the FSB of Russia in the Crimea and Sevastopol, it became known that the “Lenin district court” of Sevastopol convicted the 24-year-old local resident for “public calls to extremism, war and the rehabilitation of Nazism”. According to the prosecution, “the resident of Sevastopol in the social network “Vkontakte” called for the overthrow the Russian authorities in the Crimea and Sevastopol, and “to the destruction of the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation by military invasion of Crimea or conducting warfare on the territory of the peninsula”. The court sentenced him to two years of imprisonment with a prohibition to carry out activities associated with the provision of administration services websites and distributing texts, photos, videos, multimedia, news and other information materials on the Internet.
- In October 2016, journalist Marina Reznikov was fired from the Crimean branch of the publication “Rossiyskaya Hazeta”. The reason for the dismissal, according to her colleagues, is her video about the house of the current “head” of Crimea Serhiy Aksenov. This is stated in the monitoring review on the situation with human rights in Crimea, which was prepared by the Crimean human rights group.
Another reason for the deprivation of her work, according to human rights activists, is the participation of the journalist in information campaigns on the protection of green spaces in the central street of Simferopol. It was also reported about pressure by other members of the campaign against the destruction of trees, in particular, journalists Oleh Kryuchkov, Dmytro Zhmutskyi, Maksym Hroznyi.
- On October 27 in Simferopol, in the “Supreme court” of the Crimea before the announcement of the decision on the appeal of the political prisoner Andriy Kolomiets sentence on his case, the bailiff with the badge OP 27716 banned without explanation the correspondent of “Novaya Hazeta” Ivan Zhilin and other people to enter the courtrooms.
- On October 28, representatives of the “local authorities” prevented activities of the Internet project Crimeantatarsclub shooting team in Simferopol. This is stated in the monitoring review on the situation with human rights in Crimea, which was prepared by the Crimean human rights group.
So, the journalists were not able to reach the set during the solemn laying of stone to the ground of the mosque.
As reported by human rights group, the formal reason for the ban was the lack of the media members’ cards.
As a fact, the occupation of the Crimean Peninsula by the Russian Federation is a crime against Ukraine and its citizens. The occupation authorities of the Russian Federation turned Crimea into the peninsula of fear.
Ukraine appeals to the international community to take urgent measures in response – condemnation of Russian occupation of the territory of Ukraine – the Autonomous Republic of Crimea by not recognizing it as a part of the aggressor-state. The occupation of Crimea may be seen as a reason to take the urgent measures by the EU in consolidation of its efforts in the political and information aspects.
Over the 3 years of occupation, Ukrainian human rights organizations documented 461 case of freedom of speech and freedom of expression violations. In 2014 there were 207 violations, in 2015 the number declined to 153, and in 2016 — 101.
The freedom of speech limitations concerned 241 person and 20 publications whose whole editorial offices have been repressed.