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Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 10 Prisoners of conscience awaiting sentence
UA 126/19
Abgeschlossen am 13. November 2019
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12.11.2019: Long sentences

You might have already heard the bad news that human rights defender Emir-Usein Kuku and his co-defendants have been given lengthy prison sentences today. We are sharing the media quote that has been issued.

Thanks to all those who have supported our campaign so far. These men are prisoners of conscience and we will continue calling for their release.

31.10.19: Hearing postponed again

The 28 October hearing was postponed again until 8 November, 10:00 am. The lawyer told us that no explanation was provided for this delay. We cannot be sure why exactly this is happening, but it is unusual. So far, this is the longest politically-motivated trial against residents of Crimea.

Amnesty representatives are planning to attend the 8 November hearing and we hope to learn then when the verdict is expected.

Sincere apologies for the delay sharing this with you.

11.10.19: Worrying news

Today we have learned that the prosecutor has requested that Emir-Usein Kuku should be sentenced to 15 years in jail. This are devastating news from the family. Emir-Usein is a human rights defender and a prisoner of conscience and we are calling for his immediate and unconditional release.

Please continue sending appeals as the court hearings are still ongoing.

3.10.19: Additional info

Please see some additional information about Emir-Usein Kuku and the issues faced by Crimean Tatars in the story page

Prisoners of conscience awaiting sentence

AI-Index: EUR 46/1098/2019

The final hearing in the trial of Emir-Usein Kuku and his co-defendants is expected soon. Emir-Usein Kuku is a Crimean Tatar who peacefully denounced the human rights violations taking place since the occupation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula by the Russian Federation. He has been in pretrial detention, separated from his wife and children, since February 2016, and is facing trumped-up charges which carry up to 25 years in prison. Emir-Usein Kuku and his co-defendants are prisoners of conscience and 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 charged with 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.

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

Emir-Usein Kuku was arrested on 11 February 2016 and charged with «organising of activities of a terrorist organization» for his alleged association with Hizb ut Tahrir, an Islamic movement which is listed 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 law Russian enforcement officials 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, which may also constitute a violation of their right to a fair trial.

In the beginning of 2017, Emir-Usein Kuku faced new charges of «conspiring to forcibly seize» or «retain» power, but there is no credible evidence that he or his co-defendants were planning or carrying out any violent acts. He faces up to 25 years in prison if found guilty.

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