Threats to Reshat Dzhemilev (48.14)

<<No 48 : 14 March 1978>>

In the Tashkent firm ‘Uzorgtekhstroi’ [Uzbek Organization for Technical Construction], where Reshat Dzhemilev (CCEs 8, 9, 31, 32, 34, 38) works as deputy head of one of the departments, a meeting of management personnel was held on 10 February 1978 and a paper given on the theme “The education of cadres in the spirit of socialist patriotism”. (Those called to attend the meeting had to sign an attendance register.)

The speaker after making general observations said that there were dissidents in the USSR — Sakharov, Grigorenko and others — who carried on hostile activities, and that among their friends was R. Dzhemilev, who had long been engaged in circulating slanderous fabrications. The speaker also named such of Dzhemilev’s activities as speaking at Kostyorin’s funeral (1968), his statement in defence of Yakhimovich (1969) and other items from Dzhemilev’s criminal cases of 1969 (dropped — Chronicle) and 1972. He went on to inform the meeting that on 28 November 1977 Dzhemilev had spoken at a press-conference in Moscow where he said that the Crimean Tatar people was being subjected to genocide. Extracts were also read out from a Radio Liberty broadcast about R. Dzhemilev’s letter to the king of Saudi Arabia.

When Dzhemilev was allowed to speak he included in his statement information on the history of the Crimean Tatars and told of the persecutions in the Crimea and the fate of Mustafa Dzhemilev, in whose defence he had appealed to the Saudi Arabian king.

Several other people spoke at the meeting. One of them said:

Dzhemilev speaks of genocide. How are we to understand him in relation to the Soviet regime? It turns out that Dzhemilev is equating the Soviet regime with fascism.

Crimean Tatar Memetov stated that he had not noticed any harassment, that his father, for instance, held a high post, and that the family had no intention of going to the Crimea. Someone else put up the proposal of appealing to the government to deprive Grigorenko of his general’s rank and to the Academy of Sciences to expel Sakharov, but the enterprise director replied that the first had been done long ago while it was not for them to instruct the Academy of Sciences.

A resolution was put to the meeting saying that R. Dzhemilev did not represent the Crimean Tatar people, that he made slanderous statements, that he had been punished for this but that he had “understood nothing” and was continuing the same activity. The workforce of the enterprise, the resolution said, asks the enterprise management to consider the matter of Dzhemilev’s further tenure of a management post and asks O VIR not to give him permission to leave the country since once abroad he might damage the Soviet state. (About a year ago R. Dzhemilev submitted documents for emigration on an invitation from relatives living in the USA; he was refused and applied a second time — there has as yet been no answer.)

One of those present at the meeting wanted to speak after this, but was not allowed to by the chairman, who said that discussion had ended. Nonetheless he managed to say that he considered the resolution to be legally illiterate, since the meeting had no right to put forward such accusations.

Hastily taking a vote, the chairman declared the resolution unanimously passed (several people had raised their hands neither for nor against it).

The meeting also approved the texts of three letters: to A.D. Sakharov and to Radio Liberty saying that they were using the services of a renegade who represented no-one, and to OVIR with a request not to give Dzhemilev permission to emigrate.

It is not known whether these letters were sent (A.D. Sakharov did not receive a letter from the enterprise); however, a similar letter reached the Moscow flat of P.G. Grigorenko:

After discussion of the conduct of our colleague Reshat Dzhemilev at a meeting in the ‘Uzorgtekhstroi’ enterprise of the Uzbek SSR Ministry of Construction our collective declares to you its indignation at your attempts to disorient world public opinion on the position of the Crimean Tatars in the USSR.

The case in point is your support for Reshat Dzhemilev’s statement before Western press correspondents on 28 November last year, which was broadcast the same day by the Deutsche Welle radio-station.

In the process of discussion, we became convinced that Dzhemilev is slandering Soviet reality and his Crimean Tatar people, with whom he has long had nothing in common.

Not knowing the true position of the Crimean Tatars, you are speculating in the slanderous fabrications of renegades of Dzhemilev’s type, trying to popularize them in the West for mercenary objectives.

Several Crimean Tatars are employed in our workforce, all of them have higher education and enjoy all the rights of Soviet citizens.

We would like to ask you, when did Reshat Dzhemilev become a fighter for civil rights? Perhaps it was when he decided to emigrate permanently to the USA and made the statement referred to above in order to curry sympathy in dubious circles in the West, earning himself thirty pieces of silver?

On behalf of the collective of the ‘Uzorgtekhstroi’ enterprise. Presidium of the meeting: Gavrilov E.I., Sulkovsky I. A., Manasyan L.S., Aliyev A.N., Khudaiberdiyev, A.Kh.

Uzbek SSR, Tashkent, 172 Mukimy St., ‘Uzorgtekhstroi’ enterprise.

22 February 1978.

At meetings of Party activists in Tashkent in February accounts were given of the meeting described above and it was said that ‘the enterprise collective really flattened Dzhemilev’.