Crimean Tatar activist Gafarov dies in Russian custody

10 February, 06:41 PM
Dzhemil Gafarov (Photo:Крим. Реалії)

Dzhemil Gafarov (Photo:Крим. Реалії)

Crimean Tatar activist Dzhemil Gafarov, who was sentenced by a Russian court on terrorist charges, has died in a Russian pretrial detention center, the Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, Refat Chubarov, wrote on Facebook on Feb. 9.

Chubarov said that Gafarov, 60, died in Novocherkassk, Rostov Oblast, Russia.

He was diagnosed with kidney failure. In November 2022, he suffered a heart attack. According to Gafarov, the pretrial detention center administration refused him medical care.

Earlier his lawyers said that keeping Gafarov in the pretrial detention center would endanger his life.

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At the same time, Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service did not comment on the information provided by Gafarov’s lawyers and relatives.

On Jan. 11, 2023, the Southern District Military Court in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, sentenced Servet Gaziyev, Dzhemil Gafarov, Alim Karymov, Seyran Murtazi, and Erfan Osmanov, who were arrested in raids on their homes.

On March 27, 2019, Russian security forces searched the families of Crimean Tatars on the Russian-occupied peninsula.

According to activists, it was the most massive violation of human rights by Russia seen to that point.

Twenty Crimean Tatars were detained after the raids. They were taken to Russia’s FSB headquarters in Simferopol on suspicion of participating in Hizb-ut-Tahrir.

Early on March 28, 2019, three activists of the Crimean Solidarity NGO were also detained in Rostov-on-Don, Russia.

The “court” then arrested all 23 detained Crimean Tatars.

Members of the international Islamic political organization Hizb ut-Tahrir are regularly persecuted both in Russia and in Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimea.

Representatives of the organization call their mission the unification of all Muslim countries into the Islamic “Caliphate,” but reject terrorist methods of achieving this.

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