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Amnesty Urgent Actions
Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 10 Prisoners of conscience awaiting sentence Lengthy jail terms for prisoners of conscience
FI 126/19-1
Abgeschlossen am 4. März 2020
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22.1.2020: Deadline extended

11 February marks the fourth anniversary of the arrest of human rights defender Emir-Usein Kuku. This anniversary is very important for many reasons but one of them is that it falls in the middle of the appeal of the sentence, and thus it is a great opportunity to keep the pressure going – any improvement in the sentence could have massive implications and make his early release more likely in future.

Therefore we are extending the Urgent Action for a further 6 weeks (at least) and we encourage you to continue sending appeals.

Lengthy jail terms for prisoners of conscience

AI-Index: EUR 46/1386/2019

On 12 November, a Russian military court found Crimean Tatar human rights defender Emir-Usein Kuku and his five co-defendants guilty of trumped-up charges. After a protracted unfair trial, they have been given prison sentences of between seven and 19 years in jail. Emir-Usein Kuku and his co-defendants are prisoners of conscience and they should be released immediately and unconditionally.


Crimea came under Russian control following the events of February-March 2014, when Russia used its troops to occupy the peninsula and organised a «referendum» to justify the territory’s annexation in violation of international law.

Crimean Tatars are indigenous people of Crimea who prior to the occupation constituted an estimated 12 percent of the peninsula’s population. Many prominent members of the Crimean Tatar community have been among the most vocal critics of the Russian occupation, and the entire community has been regarded by the de facto authorities as disloyal and targeted with reprisals, alongside other critical voices. Independent media have been forced to shut down. Pro-Ukrainian activists have been prosecuted under trumped-up charges, like «extremism» or «terrorism». Some activists went missing; evidence in some cases strongly suggests they were forcibly disappeared by the de facto authorities or paramilitaries acting as their proxies.

Emir-Usein Kuku has been one of the most prominent Crimean Tatar human rights defenders. He faced harassment on numerous occasions, and during his arrest was subjected to beating by officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB). His wife and children have been subjected to threats too.

Emir-Usein Kuku was arrested on 11 February 2016 and charged with «organising activities of a terrorist organization» for his alleged association with Hizb ut Tahrir, an Islamic movement which is banned as a «terrorist» organization in Russia but is legal in Ukraine. Emir-Usein Kuku denies any involvement with Hizb ut-Tahrir. The charges against him and his co-defendants are based on covertly acquired, and allegedly tampered, recordings of conversations, testimonies of «secret witnesses» and testimonies of Russian law enforcement officicers, which they denounce as false. When the investigation was completed in December 2017, Emir-Usein Kuku and his co-defendants were transferred from the Russian-occupied Crimea to the city of Rostov-on-Don (southwestern Russia), in violation of international humanitarian law. Since then they have been standing trial before a military court, also in violation of their right to a fair trial.

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UA 126/19-1 english (corrected)
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UA 126/19-1 français (corrigé)
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UA 126/19-1 deutsch (korrigiert)
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