Until recent time, I lived in Bakhchisaray, where I worked as a driver for the family of Mustafa Dzhemilev. We have known each other for 16 years. On June 28, 2018 I was getting into a car to go home, when I saw five people in armoured vests and military uniform without any insignia, approaching me. Their faces were covered with balaclavas, and they had handguns in their hands.
Having assessed the whole situation, I decided not to resist. They put an armlock on me, then handcuffed and put in a white Mercedes Sprinter. There, they pulled a sack on my head straightaway. We were driving for some 15 minutes, the car made a couple of stops, one of the unknown men took the sack off my head and asked whether it was my street. I pointed at the place where I lived.
Only when he took the sack off my head near my house, close to which there was a gathering of vehicles unfamiliar to me, I realized that some investigatory measures were going on at my place, probably, a search. Then they put the sack back on my head and took it off only after quite a long period of time.
We drove for about 30 minutes from my house. I didn’t see where they drove me to because of the sack, but I think it was some kind of a basement – we went downstairs for a while. Then they sat me on a chair and pulled the sack off my head.
I was in a room without windows. There were three more people in it, all in balaclavas. One was sitting right in front of me, the others – behind the table, on which there was a laptop and some machine, unknown to me (I realized later it was a polygraph).
They started asking questions: how often I went to Ukraine, when I was there for the last time, where exactly in Ukraine I was, whom I talked to, whom I visited. Judging from the sound, they typed my answers on a laptop. I answered all the questions, called the name Dzhemilev.
They continued asking whom else I communicated with. When I replied I didn’t remember, they immediately put the sack on my head and hit me in the chest area, and right after that – in the stomach. They beat me with fists. Judging from the voice, it was the person who was sitting in front of me, who did the beating.
After that, the man in front of me said I was in a very bad situation, and that no one got here with a sack on the head for nothing. The interrogation went on.
They asked me about the connections and stay in Ukraine again. If they didn’t like the answer, they hit me in the back of my head. I cannot tell the total number of blows, but there were more than ten in any case.
They also asked me about the arson of the Mufti’s house, the arson of the electric transmission line in Alushta, about Erol Veliyev. I replied that I knew nothing about this. They threatened. They said I would never leave this room, disappear forever. I could feel the reality of these threats, and I knew my life was in the hands of those unknown men.
Then, they took the sack off me, unlocked the handcuffs and attached the polygraph wires to my fingers. At that moment, another camouflaged and masked man entered the room. He worked with me on the polygraph. He asked the same questions as the men before him. Also, they had my phone, which they, apparently, seized during the search at my house. They asked the password and started reading my correspondence (text messages and messages in the social networks).
After the polygraph, they put the sack on my head again and offered cooperation. I said I would not make any deal with them. Then the military man took a scotch tape and started wrapping my head around with it, over the sack. They led me close to the wall, put down on my knees and said I should stand like this and think for a while. I stood there for about an hour, then they asked me whether I had a good thinking. Then someone stepped on my legs in the area of my calx, the ligaments. I felt severe pain.
Right after that, they took off the sack and ordered to look the unknown man in the eyes (he was wearing a balaclava). I said I cannot agree, to which they replied that I would “spit out organs here”. Having realized the reality of these threats, I agreed to sign everything. Then they made me read the whole text for a video, and add in the end, that the said letter was written by me with my own hand, without any physical or psychological pressure.
Then they led me out of the room, with the sack on my head, put into a car and drove in an unknown direction. The journey lasted for about 40 minutes. They led me in some room and took the sack off. As I realized later, it was an investigator’s office. There were two men inside. One of them addressed me. He said he was expecting me long ago, and that I was summoned for an investigatory measure, namely, for the interrogation as a witness in some criminal case. The whole interrogation consisted of just one question – whether I knew a person named Erol Veliyev. I replied I knew him briefly.
When they led me out of the premises, I realized I was in Simferopol, in Ivan Franko Street. My relatives and friends were already waiting for me at the entrance.