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Emir Usein Kuku in pre-trial detention

Status: 
Harassed & Detained
About the situation

On 20 February 2017, the Supreme Court of Crimea upheld its prior decision to extend the pre-trial detention of human rights defender, Emir Usein Kuku, until 8 April 2018.

The Court ruling was issued on 3 February 2017 in response to a plea for extension of the pre-trial detention filed by the the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, Crimean Directorate.

About Emir Usein Kuku

emir usein kukuEmir Usein Kuku is the Chair of the Crimean Contact Group on Human Rights in Yalta and a member of the Crimean Human Rights Group. The Crimean Contact Group on Human Rights monitors violations of human rights, provides legal assistance to the population, and reports cases of politically-motivated enforced disappearance in Crimea. Prior to his detention in February 2016, Kuku was actively involved in the monitoring and documentation of human rights violations in the Yalta region. He has provided legal assistance and support to members of Muslim ethnic groups such as Crimean Tatars, who are continuously faced with discrimination and political persecution. Emir Usein Kuku was defending their right to religion, assisting in the search for displaced people, and supporting the families of political prisoners.

21 February 2017
Decision to extend pre-trial detention of Emir Usein Kuku upheld

On 20 February 2017, the Supreme Court of Crimea upheld its prior decision to extend the pre-trial detention of human rights defender, Emir Usein Kuku, until 8 April 2018.

Emir Usein Kuku is the Chairman of the Crimean Contact Group on Human Rights in Yalta. This organisation monitors violations of human rights, provides legal assistance, and reports cases of politically-motivated disappearances in Crimea. Emir Usein Kuku is also a member of the Crimean Human Rights Group. Prior to his detention in February 2016, Emir Usein Kuku was involved in the monitoring and documentation of human rights violations in the Yalta region. He has provided legal assistance and support to members of Muslim ethnic groups such as Crimean Tatars, who suffer discrimination and political persecution. Emir Usein Kuku worked to defend their right to practise their religion freely, assisted in the search for displaced people, and supported the families of political prisoners. Since the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, human rights defenders and Crimean Tatars who work to protect their human rights have become targets of repression and intimidation by the local authorities.

On 20 February 2017, the Supreme Court of Crimea upheld its prior decision, which had been reached on 3 February 2017, to extend the pre-trial detention of Emir Usein Kuku, until 8 April 2018. The human rights defender, who was not present in the courtroom, participated in the hearing via video link. Journalists were forbidden from video recording the hearing.

On 3 February 2017, the Supreme Court justified its decision by asserting that the release or house arrest of Emir Usein Kuku would give the human rights defender the capacity to obstruct the investigation or abscond while it was being conducted. During the hearing on 20 February 2017, the Court did not reiterate these justifications or provide specific reasons for its decision to extend the human rights defender’s pre-trial detention.

Emir Usein Kuku is a defendant in the so-called Hizb ut-Tahrir case and has been in pre-trial custody since 11 February 2016. He is accused of terrorism and alleged involvement in the Muslim political organisation, Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is designated as a terrorist group in Russia. On 5 September 2016, the Kievsky District Court of Simferopol dismissed an appeal brought by Emir Usein Kuku regarding his pre-trial detention, retained the charges against him, and extended his pre-trial detention until 8 December 2016 - the day the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation ordered a forced psychiatric examination on him. On 11 January 2017, the Supreme Court of Crimea affirmed the Kievsky District Court of Simferopol’s decision and extended his detention until 8 February 2017. While in custody, the human rights defender and his family have been subjected to harassment and intimidation on several occasions.

Front Line Defenders strongly condemns the decision of the Supreme Court of Crimea to uphold the decision to extend the pre-trial detention and the fabricated charges brought against Emir Usein Kuku, as it is believed they are solely related to his peaceful and legitimate work reporting human rights abuses in Crimea.  Front Line Defenders calls on the Crimean authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Emir Usein Kuku.

6 February 2017
Pre-trial detention of Emir Usein Kuku extended

On 3 February 2017, the Supreme Court of Crimea extended the pre-trial detention of the human rights defender, Emir Usein Kuku, until 8 April 2018. The Court ruling was issued in response to a plea for extension of the pre-trial detention filed by the the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, Crimean Directorate.

Emir Usein Kuku is the Chairman of the Crimean Contact Group on Human Rights in Yalta. This organisation monitors violations of human rights, provides legal assistance, and reports cases of politically-motivated disappearances in Crimea. Emir Usein Kuku is also a member of the Crimean Human Rights Group. Prior to his detention in February 2016, Emir Usein Kuku was actively involved in the monitoring and documentation of human rights violations in the Yalta region. He has provided legal assistance and support to members of Muslim ethnic groups such as Crimean Tatars, who continuously suffer discrimination and political persecution. Emir Usein Kuku worked to defend their right to practise their religion freely, assisted in the search for displaced people, and supported the families of political prisoners. Since the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, human rights defenders and Crimean Tatars who work to protect their human rights have become targets of repression and intimidation by the local authorities.

On 3 February 2017, the Supreme Court of Crimea ruled to extend the pre-trial detention of Emir Usein Kuku until 8 April 2018. The Court justified the decision by asserting that the release or house arrest of Emir Usein Kuku would give the human rights defender the capacity to obstruct or abscond during the investigation. According to the Court, he would  also have the opportunity to threaten witnesses in the case and continue committing criminal offences if released or placed under house arrest. The human rights defender’s legal representatives will appeal the Court ruling over the coming days.

Emir Usein Kuku is a defendant in the so-called Hizb ut-Tahrir case and has been in pre-trial custody since 11 February 2016. He is accused of terrorism and alleged involvement in the Muslim political organisation, Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is designated as a terrorist group in Russia. On 5 September 2016, the Kievsky District Court of Simferopol dismissed an appeal brought by Emir Usein Kuku regarding his pre-trial detention, retained the charges against him, and extended his pre-trial detention until 8 December 2016 - the day the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation ordered a forced psychiatric examination on him. On 11 January 2017, the Supreme Court of Crimea affirmed the Kievsky District Court of Simferopol’s decision and extended his detention until 8 February 2017. While in custody, the human rights defender and his family have been subjected to harassment and intimidation on several occasions.

Front Line Defenders strongly condemns the decision of the Supreme Court of Crimea to extend the pre-trial detention and fabricated charges brought against Emir Usein Kuku, as it is believed they are solely related to his peaceful and legitimate work reporting human rights abuses in Crimea.  Front Line Defenders also calls on the Crimean authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Emir Usein Kuku.

 

13 January 2017
Ruling to extend pre-trial detention of Emir Usein Kuku upheld

On 11 January 2017, the Supreme Court of Crimea upheld a decree to extend the pre-trial detention of human rights defender, Mr. Emir Usein Kuku.

Emir Usein Kuku is the Chairman of the Crimean Contact Group on Human Rights in Yalta and a member of the Crimean Human Rights Group. The Crimean Contact Group on Human Rights monitors violations of human rights, provides legal assistance, and reports cases of politically-motivated disappearances in Crimea. Prior to his detention in February 2016, Emir Usein Kuku was actively involved in the monitoring and documentation of human rights violations in the Yalta region. He has provided legal assistance and support to members of Muslim ethnic groups such as Crimean Tatars, who continuously suffer discrimination and political persecution. Emir Usein Kuku worked to defend their right to practise their religion freely, assisted in the search for displaced people, and supported the families of political prisoners. Since the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, human rights defenders and Crimean Tatars who work to protect their human rights have become targets of repression and intimidation by the local authorities.

On 11 January 2017, the Supreme Court of Crimea affirmed the Kievsky District Court of Simferopol’s decision to extend Emir Usein Kuku’s pre-trial detention until 8 February 2017. The court hearing took place via video conference, but the human rights defender was not present in the courtroom during the legal proceedings. On 9 January 2017, Emir Usein Kuku was transferred back to a pre-trial detention centre in Simferopol after a forced psychiatric examination, which was ordered by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation on 8 December 2016.

Emir Usein Kuku is a defendant in the so-called Hizb ut-Tahrir case and has been in pre-trial custody since 11 February 2016. He is accused of terrorism and alleged involvement in the Muslim political organisation, Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is designated as a terrorist group in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Germany, but operates legally in Ukraine and other states. On 5 September 2016, the Kievsky District Court of Simferopol dismissed an appeal brought by Emir Usein Kuku regarding his pre-trial detention, retained the charges against him, and extended his pre-trial detention until 8 December 2016. While in custody, the human rights defender and his family have been subjected to harassment and intimidation on several occasions.

Front Line Defenders strongly condemns the decision of the Supreme Court of Crimea to uphold the extended pre-trial detention and fabricated charges brought against Emir Usein Kuku, as well as the forced psychiatric examination of the human rights defender, as it is believed they are solely related to his peaceful and legitimate work reporting human rights abuses in Crimea. Front Line Defenders urges authorities in Crimea to ensure that the treatment of Emir Usein Kuku, while in detention, adheres to the conditions set out in the ‘Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment’, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988. Front Line Defenders also calls on the Crimean authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Emir Usein Kuku and quash his conviction.
 

12 December 2016
Emir Usein Kuku forced to undergo psychiatric examination

On 8 December 2016, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation forced human rights defender Emir Usein Kuku to undergo psychiatric examination. Later on the same day, without the human rights defender present, the Kievsky District Court of Simferopol, rendered a decision to extend his pre-trial detention until 8 February 2017. The human rights defender has been in pre-trial detention since 11 February 2016.

On 8 December, Emir Usein Kuku was transferred from Simferopol pre-trial custody to a psychiatric facility in the same city. The same day, in Emir Usein Kuku’s absence the Kievsky District Court issued a ruling on the extension of Emir Usein Kuku’s pre-trial detention until 8 February 2017. Emir Usein Kuku’s lawyer and family were present at the hearing. On 3 November, the decision to subject Emir Usein Kuku to forced psychiatric examination was handed down by the Federal Security Service.

Emir Usein Kuku is a defendant in the so-called Hizb ut-Tahrir case and has been in pre-trial custody since 11 February 2016. He is accused of terrorism and alleged involvement in the Muslim political organisation, Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is designated as a terrorist group in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Germany, but operates legally in Ukraine and other states. On 5 September 2016, the Kiev District Court of Simferopol dismissed Emir Usein Kuku’s appeal, retained the charges against him, and extended his pre-trial detention until 8 December 2016. While in custody, the human rights defender and his family have been subjected to harassment and intimidation on several occasions.

Front Line Defenders is concerned by the forced psychiatric examination of Emir Usein Kuku, and urges authorities in Crimea to ensure that the treatment of Emir Usein Kuku, while in detention, adheres to the conditions set out in the ‘Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment’, adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988. Front Line Defenders also condemns the extended pre-trial detention and charges brought against Emir Usein Kuku, which it believes to be an attempt to  prevent him from continuing his legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights in Crimea.

4 October 2016
Harassment of Emir Usein Kuku’s family

On 26 September 2016, the Crimean Prosecution Office initiated a pre-investigation check of allegedly poor exercise of parental responsibility against Emir Usein Kuku. The human rights defender is a defendant in the so-called Hizb ut-Tahrir case and has been in custody in Simferopol, Crimea, since February 2016.

Download the Urgent Appeal (PDF)

The Crimean Prosecution Office, de facto appointed by the Russian Federation, has stated that Emir Usein Kuku, while in custody, is neglecting his parental responsibility, and therefore is in violation of Article 156 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (poor exercise of parental responsibility). Upon initiating the pre-investigation, the Crimean Juvenile Office has mandated Emir Usein Kuku’s family to allow their children to be questioned about their father’s failure to take proper care of them. Following the family’s refusal to do so, a juvenile officer, Mametova Anna Vladimirovna, on several occasions and without parental consent attempted to meet with the children while they were in school. As it stands, the officer has started to draft character references of the children and other family members. Emir Usein Kuku’s children are currently staying at home and afraid to attend school classes.

On 2 March 2016, Bagirov Nasim Vedadievich, who introduced himself as an official of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB), met Emir Usein Kuku’s children at school and told them that their father committed a crime, for which he is going to remain in custody for a significant period of time.

The resort to such conduct towards Emir Usein Kuku’s children by state officials could be perceived as a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. These conventions prohibit any interference with children’s privacy, family, home, or correspondence, or any unlawful attacks on their honour and reputation. On 16 June 2016, Emir Usein Kuku’s lawyer filed a petition before the Military Investigation Department of the Black Sea Fleet Investigation Committee to account for the abusive acts of the FSB representative.

After a house-check on 11 February 2016, Emir Usein Kuku was arrested on charges of terrorism and alleged involvement in the Muslim political organisation, Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is designated as a terrorist group in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Germany, but is able to work legally in Ukraine and other states. On 12 February 2016, under the decision of the Kiev District Court of Simferopol, Emir Usein Kuku was placed under detention for the duration of the ongoing investigation. On 5 September 2016, the Court withdrew Emir Usein Kuku’s appeal, retained the charges against him, and extended his detention until 8 December 2016, while additional investigative measures are carried out.

Front Line Defenders expresses its grave concern at the detention and charges brought against Emir Usein Kuku, which it believes to be an attempt to intimidate the human rights defender and prevent him from continuing his legitimate work in defence of human rights in Crimea.

Front Line Defenders calls on the authorities in Crimea and the Russian Federation to:

1. Drop the incriminating charges against human rights defender Mr. Emir Usein Kuku, hasten his release, and ensure the physical and psychological integrity and security of Emir Usein Kuku and his family;

2. Immediately cease all further harassment of Mr. Emir Usein Kuku's family, as Front Line Defenders believes that they are being intimidated solely as a result of Mr. Emir Usein Kuku’s legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights in Crimea;

3. Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the harassment of Mr. Emir Usein Kuku's family and the accusations made against Mr. Emir Usein Kuku, and publish the results in order to bring those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;

4. Take measures to ensure that government officials in Crimea refrain from making statements or declarations stigmatising the legitimate work of human rights defenders;

5. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Crimea and the Russian Federation are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.