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Abduction of Erwin Ibragimov

June 03, 2016 14:59 0 2970
Abduction of Erwin Ibragimov is not just another act of intimidation of Crimean Tatars, but also attempt to influence the work of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars.

In Crimea, it is already two weeks when one can not find an abducted member of the executive board of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars, the former deputy of  Bakhchisaray district council and a member of the regional Mejlis Erwin Ibragimov.

News about the repressions, searches and disappearances in Crimea appear quite often. But the case of Ibragimov still differs from the overall series. Firstly, indirect points of disappearance indicate that it has been engaging local security forces. Secondly, the reason for attention to Ibragimov clearly was his active political activity. In fact, this disappearance may mark a new phase of repressions in occupied Crimea, where security forces resort to violence without following the formal attributes of justice.

 

Details of disappearance and search

Erwin Ibragimov was abducted on May 24th, 2016, about 11 p.m. Cameras surveillance recorded how some unknown persons had stopped Ibragimov and tried to put him into minibus, he had tried to escape, but was caught and thrown into a car. After that, the car had driven towards Bakhchisaray reservoir through a forest belt.

There is information that Erwin was abducted by people in the form of traffic police: the last call from Ibragimov to home (about 11 p.m.) was with a question "Where are the documents from the car?". The head of the Kurultai CEC Zair Smedlyaev wrote it on his Facebook page. After that, Ibragimov did not get in touch.

"His car is open in front of the entrance of the house where he lives. In the morning he was to go to Sudak, but he did not come to the place of the meeting", — Facebook user Umerova said referring to parents of Ibragimov.

Ervin Ibragimov himself on May 17th told friends that he was being followed by unknown car «Skoda Octavia» A6 Room 350, 36th region: they were watching the house, and then followed his car. However, in the days that followed, he did not notice such surveillance. The deputy chairman of the Mejlis Nariman Dzhelalov told it.

In addition, a group of "Crimean solidarity" with reference to Zair Smedlyaev reported another detail, which Ibragimov had said too. Approximately one month prior to the abduction, namely when Erwin Ibragimov arrived to Simferopol to the court of Ahtem Chiygoz, unknown persons called his parents and told that they allegedly had seen the arrest of Erwin.

The very next day after the disappearance of his son the father of Erwin Umer Ibragimov went to the police of Bakhchisaray and wrote a statement addressed to Russian Prosecutor of Crimea Natalia Poklonska to organize a search for his missing son, and to bring available videos, fixing the abduction.

After that, the local police inspected the car, an apartment and personal items of missing, spoke with relatives of Erwin Ibragimov.

But the FSB, when relatives of Ibragimov wanted to submit an application, did not listen to them and did not watch a video recording on the incident.

In connection with the doubt that the security forces would conscientiously investigate the case, on the 27th of May a few dozen of the Crimean Tatars gathered in front of the building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs administration of Bakhchisaray, they demanded to find Erwin Ibragimov. Relatives of Ibragimov announced compensation of 1 million rubles for his return. Family and friends of Erwin, as well as activists, are making their own efforts to find him, which, unfortunately, have not been successful.

The only things that were found are a passport, driver's license and work book of abducted.

They were found a week after the abduction by  local resident near the bar "Arpat" in Bakhchisaray, who brought the documents to the police station.

 

Why does the abduction have a political motive

Erwin Ibragimov is Crimean Tatar, a resident of Bakhchisaray, a member of the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars. Earlier Ibragimov was elected as a deputy of Bakhchisaray district council, and later headed the local Mejlis after the resignation of the former chairman.

In August 2014 the faction "The Kurultay-Rukh" of Bakhchisaray district council, to which Erwin Ibragimov belonged, decided not to participate in the session until there is a quorum, "in connection with the discriminatory policies pursued by the mayor against the Crimean Tatars." As an example of discriminatory policies Ibragimov MP called in comments to local media, that the mayor is suing for the building, which regional Mejlis of Bakhchisaray is located in.

In addition, members of the faction "The Kurultay-Rukh" were absent in protest against the dismissal of the chairman of Bakhchisaray regional state administration Ilmi Umerov. Let us recall, that on August 19th Umerov resigned chairman of the RGA in connection with the "inability to continue to work in the changed circumstances".

But the mayor of Bakhchisaray Konstantin Rubanenko accused fraction "Kurultai-Rukh" of that they allegedly disrupted session and threatened to call the FSB, if the situation persists. But at the same total number of deputies of the city council is 46 people, and the faction "The Kurultay-Rukh" of the city council consists of 10 people, so even their absence in full force could not disrupt the session.

Erwin Ibragimov before the day of the abduction took an active part in the struggle for the rights of the Crimean Tatar people. On the twenty-fifth of May (this is the day after his abduction), he planned to go to the town of Sudak to the trial of a group of Crimean Tatars, who were arrested on the orders of the Russian authorities of Crimea because of carrying out "unsanctioned" rally on May 18th in honor of the memory of victims of deportation of Crimean Tatars.

Before Ibragimov attended other hearings in the cases of other Crimean Tatars, who were tried for political reasons. Therefore, the first deputy chairman of the Mejlis Nariman Dzhelalov gave a comment to "Hromadske radio" that he did not rule out political motive in the abduction.

"We don’t have information that Erwin was involved in some cases that might be something related to the commerce with illegal activities. Erwin Ibragimov is known as an active member of Bakhchisaray regional Mejlis, member of the executive board of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars. In principle, he did not hide himself, and expressed his position on the events", – Dzhelalov said.

Chairman of Kurultai CEC of the Crimean Tatar people Zair Smedlyaev is sure that the abduction of Erwin Ibragimov is an attempt to influence the work of the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars.

"Abduction of Erwin Ibragimov, except the regular acts of intimidation of the Crimean Tatars, is also an attempt to influence the work of the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars. Ibragimov is one of the members of the Coordination Council of the World Congress of Crimean Tatars, representing Crimea... Without his participation in the district (Bakhchisaray, in the council of which he was a deputy - Ed.) no event was conducted. He also actively participated in the general Crimean actions”, – Smedlyaev told QirimInfo.

The Mejlis also responded on the abduction of a member of the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars. "Abduction of Erwin Ibragimov is committed to further intimidate and curb the Crimean Tatar people, to create psychological pressure on all the inhabitants of the peninsula", – it is said in official statement of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people. The statement of Mejlis also called on the EU, Council of Europe, other international organizations, governments of UN member states for the de-occupation of Crimea to respond to every crime committed on the peninsula by the occupation authorities: none of the more than two dozen cases of abduction of the Crimean Tatars had not been properly investigated.

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