In the Crimea (48.14)

<<No 48 : 14 March 1978>>

On 15 October, a tractor set to work on the plot of ground attached to the home of Fatherland War invalid of the first category, Asan Mamut (CCE 47). Mamut’s sister and her husband, who tried to save the vegetable patch, were beaten up. On 1 December, the Belogorsk district court decided at the neighbours’ suit to hand over the plot to them for ‘legal use’; in doing so the court referred to its own decision on the ‘illegality’ of the purchase of the house, pronounced in June 1977. In January 1978, the bailiff started coming to enforce the hand-over.

On 17 October Asan Mamut was travelling like many other Crimean Tatars to Simferopol, in order to try to see an official in the regional soviet executive committee. The police set up a road-block and the highway police took away his invalid car passport and driving licence.

The Belogorsk district Procurator stated to Mamut and his family: ‘If you cause any more scandal about the vegetable garden and one of you gets killed, we shan’t try anyone for it.’ He advised them to stop writing complaints, because anyway they would be returned to the district. ‘We’re the ones who’ll decide,’ the Procurator said.

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On 8 December 1977 chairman of the soviet executive committee of the town Stary Krym, V.D. Rybalko, summoned the authors of a letter addressed to Brezhnev and containing complaints about the actions of Rybalko himself, to see him. The letter, sent on 9 November 1977, had, after doing the rounds of official establishments, ended up with Rybalko. Rybalko said to the people he had summoned: ‘We are not going to register you for residence or sanction your house purchases. Give your houses back to the people who owned them before and go back to where you came from/ He also said that there were no registrations being given for residence in the town, ‘in accordance with an official order’. Rybalko threatened that 1944 [the year of their wholesale deportation] would repeat itself for the Crimean Tatars.

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On 20 December 1977, the family of Ebazer Mametov, who had bought a house in the village of Ivanovka, Saki district, was expelled. Ebazer was beaten up by policemen for resisting and lay for 15 minutes unconscious on the ground. His wife Shevkhie had a tooth knocked out, was bound, and, after being taken to the airport, sent to Uzbekistan. Chairman of the ‘Dawn’ collective farm A.B. Chudik, secretary of the party organization Akhlanin, chief economist Popov, head of the fire brigade Treshchev, brigade-leader Lukyanov, chairman of the workers’ committee Smirnov, chief power specialist Averyanov, chairman of the village soviet I. Ashurkov and worker N. Tereshenko participated in the expulsion. The previous evening, they had got drunk together. Special funds are provided for expelling Crimean Tatar families.

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On 20 January 1978 in the village of Vostochnoye, Soviet district, a large detachment of police tried to expel the family of Gulsum Emirsaliyeva (five people), who were living in a house they had bought in January. Neighbours intervened, but on 27 January a second attempt at expulsion was made. Windows and doors were tom off, glass was broken, the stove was smashed and electric wiring torn out.

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In January, the Abdulin family, which had settled in Krasnogvardeisky district, was expelled by a detachment of police and marines. One of the soldiers pointed a machine-gun at Abdulaver Abdulin and ordered him not to move, while his wife was beaten up. The Abdulins and their belongings were taken away to a container station and kept there in the open, with their child (that day there were 12 degrees of frost), until late in the evening — until they agreed to have the container with their belongings sent back to Central Asia. The operation was conducted by head of the district police Lisogorsky.

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Dzhenner Maksudov and his family of four have been living in the village of Sennoye, Belogorsk district, since 1976, He is continually being summoned to the police station where they threaten to have him tried and exiled. In 1976 the former owner of their house. Klimenko, received a flat in the town of Zuya but, in the words of the district policeman, he has already been driven out of this flat for having sold his house to a Crimean Tatar,

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In January 1978 G. Pankratova bought a house in Simferopol on Khokhlov Street. The house purchase was completed through a notary and registered. But when she tried to register her husband, Crimean Tatar Nazym Mametov, as a resident in the house, she was quickly expelled and on 10 March a suit that the sale and purchase of the house be ruled invalid was submitted to the court. Mametov (b. 1937) worked for 20 years on the development of the Hungry Steppe, fell ill with tuberculosis of the throat, is on the medical register and moved to the Crimea on the recommendation of a doctor.

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On 12 December 1977, the Razdolnoye district court ruled invalid the sale and purchase agreement on the Osmanovs’ house and obliged them to return the house to its former owner and to pay 66 roubles state duty. Razdolnoye district Procurator N. N. Petrov’s statement of claim says: “A purchaser must be registered in this locality, whereas citizen Osmanov was registered in the Uzbek SSR”. On 31 January 1978 there was a new trial, this time with Rain Osmanov being charged with violation of the residence regulations (Article 196 of the Ukrainian SSR Criminal Code). The court, chaired by A. M. Lebedev and with the participation of Procurator Ugryumova and social prosecutor Zhivalov, sentenced Osmanov to 1 year 9 months’ imprisonment. The defendant was not given a copy of the verdict.

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The trial of Seidamet Memetov (CCEs 31, 32, 47), which was suddenly cancelled in November 1977, took place on 11 January 1978. The Saki district court sentenced Memetov to 2 years’ banishment from the Crimea under Article 196 of the Ukrainian SSR Criminal Code.

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Under the same Article Uzret Suleimanov has been condemned in the town of Stary Krym (to 3 years of banishment), and in Simferopol Dilyaver Minimurzayev (the trial was on 24 January, the sentence is not known); cases have been instituted against several other people.

Extracts follow from a protest by Crimean Tatars who have come to the Crimea, addressed to the government and the general public (February 1978):

Over a short period, each of the families which has come to Saki district has been fined two or three times (each time a sum of ten roubles) by the police and the administrative organs — on false, provocative charges, supposedly for violation of the residence regulations. Up to the present time more than ten families have been penalized by the Saki people’s court on the suit of procurator Stepanov, who always claims the acquisition of a house to be a private and illegal deal. He abrogates it and simultaneously levies state duty at 6 per cent of the total sum established by the two parties on the basis of mutual agreement during the process of sale and purchase. Civil suits designed to rob the population by means of the courts are also being used with increasing frequency against the remaining families. The extent of the robbery of each family on the false charge of violating the residence regulations is 20-30 roubles; through civil suits it is from 600 to 1,200 roubles, i.e., from all the families who arrived in 1977-78 in the Saki district and have not been registered the total sum robbed is between 30,000 and 50,000 roubles.

All over the Crimea depriving Crimean Tatar families of their household plots is being practised, both in villages and in towns. In the town of Stary Krym household plots have been taken away on the instructions of chairman of the soviet executive committee Rybalko and already new house-builders, from among the drunkards and idlers, have appeared on the plots of many Crimean Tatar families.

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Crimean Tatars are continuing to gather on reception days at the regional soviet executive committee in Simferopol, demanding to be received by the chairman (CCEs 42, 44).

On 7 February about 200 people gathered. A detachment of police drove them away and many were beaten up. 15 people were detained and taken to the central police station: Dilyara Asanova (23 years old), Persude Appazova (19 years old), Nurie Manseitova (mother of three children), Rafide Aliyeva (19 years old), Aishe Ismailova, Shosie Abduramonova, Karaeva (mother of five children), Anife Karalieva (17 years old), Izet Kara (19 years old), Khairi Emirasanov, Veli Amurov, Emirusein Osmanov, Alim Osmanov (24 years old), Tair Refatov, Dilyaver Umerov (the two latter were demobilized from the army in December 1977). Records were compiled that same day on many of those detained and cautions made out in the following form:

The administrative commission of the central district soviet executive committee, having considered the materials on citizen Izet Useinovich Kara, who is living without a fixed place of residence and not working, on his violation of the USSR Council of Ministers’ order of 28 August 1974 consisting in his residing in the Crimean Region without registration for residence or definite occupation, has ordered that he should be cautioned. Chairman of the administrative (signature), secretary (no signature).

A police official signed for the chairman of the administrative commission. The orders were dated 7 and 13 February. Five of those detained were released at 10 pm the same day, seven of them at 1 pm on 8 February. All were fined for ‘petty hooliganism’, E. Osmanov, D. Umerov and A. Osmanov were given 15 days’ imprisonment.

On 14 February a round-up of Crimean Tatars travelling to Simferopol was organized. Many were detained on the outskirts of the town as they got out of buses. Those who had reached the soviet executive committee building, mainly women and children (about 100 people), were surrounded by soldiers and policemen. The crowd of Russians and Ukrainians, evidently specially selected, that gathered nearby shouted: ‘Traitors, renegades! They should have finished you off in 1944. You’re not going to see the Crimea in a million years!’ The Crimean Tatars did not reply to the insults and continued to approach the committee building. Then at the command of a police colonel the soldiers and policemen hurled themselves on them, twisted their arms and threw them into police vans. During this melee one girl, pushed by the police, hit her head on the tarmac and lost consciousness. Crimean Tatars were also picked up on the streets and in shops. 39 people were taken to the police station. Four who were still minors were quickly released, eight Crimean Tatars were each given 12 days, while a case was instituted against Riza Muslyadinov from the town of Zuya, Belogorsk district, under Article 206 (‘hooliganism’), Muslyadinov had shielded with his own body a woman who was being beaten by the police but had not resisted his own arrest. His trial is expected in March.

Every Tuesday the Crimean regional soviet executive committee building is ringed by a detachment of police and KGB agents.

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At the beginning of March two or three lorries transported a group of Crimean Tatars under guard from the Crimea to Taman. They were turned out of the lorry and left in the open air.