On October, 14th, 2020, the occupant “Kyiv district court” of Simferopol ruled out for the representative of Bakhchysarai group of the “case against Crimean Muslims” Oleksandr Sizikov to be placed in Sevastopol municipal psychiatric clinic for stationary examination (i.e. determining his competency for trial and criminal responsibility) lasting one month. The decision was taken following an ambulatory psychiatric examination that Oleksandr Sizikov agreed to undergo.
Oleksandr Sizikov is a person with Group 1 disability, he completely lost his eyesight in 2009. Being a devout Muslim, he wholeheartedly condemned persecution of Muslimsand of Crimean Tatars. On two occasions, he went out for single person demonstrations in support of political prisoner Edem Smailov, the leader of religious community “Topchik” and Sizikov’s caretaker prior to arrest.
The decision of the occupant court prompts special concern because of lack of information on compatibility of psychiatric clinic detainment conditions with needs of a blind person. Absence of proper conditions and personal assistance may cause serious violations of Sizikov’s rights, in particular of the right to have his honor respected and his dignity recognized, the right not to be treated in inhumane and degrading manner, the right to have his privacy respected. The occupant court rejected Sizikov’s lawyer’s request to allocate him for examination to Simferopol, not Sevastopol, so that his defense could be seeing him.
We remind that on July, 7th, 2020, representatives of Russia’s Federal Security Service arrested Sizikov in the village of Sevastianivka, Bakhchysarai district of Crimea. According to the announced accusation in line with Pt. 1 Art. 205.5 of Criminal Code of Russian Federation, the blind Crimean organized a terrorist cell. After the initial detention Sizikov was sent to home arrest: such preventive measure, unrelated to detainment, was achieved by Sizikov’s defense because his health condition did not allow him to remain in detention center.
Because of the recent decision of the occupant court to send Sizikov to psychiatric clinic for examination lasting one month, his defense is worried that in this way there is an attempt to declare Sizikov incompetent to stand trial and to lock him up for detention in a mental institution for long years.
This is not the first incident of forced placement of political prisoners in mental institutions in Crimea. The occupant authorities use it as an instrument of pressure on these individuals. This practice is regularly in place against Crimean Muslims - representatives of the so called “Hisb ut-Tahrir cases” since 2016.
Such decision of the occupant court provides ground violation of international law principles of human rights protection, compulsory for Russian Federation, in particular of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Art. 7, Art. 9), the Convention on Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Art. 3, Art. 5, Art.8), the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Art. 16). The UN General Assembly has on multiple occasions condemned Russia’s practice of placing Crimean political prisoners in mental institutions (please see UN General Assembly resolutions #74/168, #73/263, #72/190).
We strongly condemn the baseless forced placement of Muslims and Crimean Tatar activists into psychiatric institutions in the occupied Crimea and demand from the government of Russian Federation to:
We call on international organizations and governments of democratic countries to:
We address the President of Ukraine, Parliament of Ukraine, Ministry for Reintegration of Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine, Prosecutor’s Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol City with a demand to:
Human Rights Center ZMINA
Union of Relatives of Kremlin’s Political Prisoners
NGO of persons with disability “Fight For Right"
Center for Civil Liberties
Charity Organization " Pink Ribbon of Ukraine "
NGO "Social synergy"
Human Rights Organization “Human Rights”
Crimean Human Rights Group
NGO “Group of active rehabilitation”
NGO “Center of Sustainable Development Initiatives”
Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union