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November 7 - November 13 News Digest: Top 7 Stories about Crimea

November 13, 2015 11:18 0 2547 QirimInfo
Genocide of Crimean Tatar people recognized, Chubarov cleared off Interpol wanted list, Ukraine stopped buying Russian electricity and more.

In Crimea pro-Russian activists demand to punish journalist for criticizing authorities

November 9. Crimean pro-Russian activists demanded to punish Ekaterina Bubnova, editor-in-chief at ForPost new website, for publishing an editorial “All-Russian nursing home — this is the truth about Sevastopol’s innovative future”, where Bubnova criticizes the policies of Sevastopol’s governor Sergey Menyaylo.

Menyaylo himself says that the article is insulting: “it insults not only the citizens of Sevatopol, but the elderly, who made way to life for us, as well”. The idea to punish Bubnova was first voiced by Sevastopol Self-Defense Forces, but later was supported by other civil organizations, including Children of War, Chernobyl Union and Russian Community.

Detention for defendants in Hizb ut-Tahrir case extended

November 10. Leninsky Raion Court of Sevastopol has extended the term of detention for defendants in Hizb ut-Tahrir case — Rustem Vahitov, Ruslan Zeitullaev, Nuri Priiomov and Ferat Saifullaev — by two months. These four Crimean Tatar men were arrested in January 2015 and charged with being members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international Islamic political organization that is considered a terrorist organization and banned in Russia.

From the very beginning, the case was rife with human rights violations. It was reported that during the trial FSB officers were issuing summons for questioning to everyone trying to enter the courtroom to watch the trial and then banning them from entering the courtroom, since witnesses are not permitted to watch the trial.


Russia to simplify repatriation process for deported Crimean Tatars

November 11. Russian government has approved a bill that will simplify the process of acquiring a permission to live in Russia for people, who were deported from Crimea in 1944, as well as their relatives, including their children and grandchildren. When the bill is implemented, repatriates will need only a certificate of rehabilitation that can be issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a prosecutor’s office or a court to legalize in Russia and Crimea.

Authors of the bill say that it will enable the repatriation for about 40 thousand people, though experts believe deported families are not returning mainly for other reasons, for instance, having their old homes confiscated or not having enough money to relocate.


Interpol deleted Chubarov from its wanted list

November 11. At the request of Ukrainian bureau of Interpol, the international bureau of Interpol has cleared Refat Chubarov, Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, off its wanted list. Chubarov was put on the wanted list after Russian office of Interpol accused him of “violating territorial integrity of Russia”, though Interpol’s headquarters later decided that these accusation did not meet its rules.

Also Kyiv Raion Court of Simferopol has recently decided during a trial in absentia to arrest Chubarov for two months. It also cancelled the ban n entering Crimea for Chubarov and mockingly invited him to the peninsula.


Ukraine ceased buying electricity from Russia

November 11. Ukraine stopped receiving electricity from Russia. According to government officials, Ukraine was able to do that due to the launch of the third power unit at Rivne Nuclear Power Plant and currently has enough capacities to cover internal demand.

Previously critics of the idea of “energy blockade” of Crimea argued that Russia might cut its electricity supply to Ukraine, if Ukraine stops supplying the peninsula with electricity. With this change implemented, however, Ukraine has become a little less dependent from Russia in its energy policy.


Verkhovna Rada recognized 1944 deportation as genocide

November 12. Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has adopted a resolution recognizing the deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 as genocide of Crimean Tatar people and declared 18 May as a Day of Remembrance for the victims of Crimean Tatar genocide. Though international institutions have not yet adopted this decision, it bears significant symbolical meaning, since Crimean Tatars have long called for deportation to be recognized as genocide.


Crimean political prisoner Kostenko found in Kirov Oblast of Russia

November 12. Euromaidan activist Olexandr Kostenko was found imprisoned in the penal colony #5 in Kirovo-Chepetsk (Kirov Oblast, Russia) after Russian officials refused to give any information about his whereabouts for almost a month since he disappeared in October. Kostenko was convicted by Russia to 47 months in prison for allegedly for throwing a rock at Berkut officer Vitalii Poliyenko in Kyiv in February 2014, during the Revolution of Dignity, though both Kostenko and Poliyenko were Ukrainian citizens and the alleged offense took place before the annexation of Crimea.

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