Persecution of Crimean Tatars (49.12)

<<No 49 : 14 May 1978>>

1. IN THE CRIMEA

1.1 Trials

On 20 March, in Simferopol, Riza Muslyadinov (CCE 48) was sentenced to 3 years in camps under article 188 of the Ukrainian SSR Criminal Code (‘resisting a representative of the authorities or of the public who is carrying out his duty of preserving public order’). He was charged with resisting the police and beating up six policemen. In fact, he had come to the defence of a woman who was being beaten up by the policemen but did not resist his own detention.

On the day of the trial Crimean Tatars were taken off the buses; at the same time, the lawyer who was defending Muslyadinov was also thrown off. Even relatives were not allowed to be present at the trial. Muslyadinov’s 13-year-old sister was beaten up for trying to slip into the courtroom. Aishe Usmanova was taken to the police station and kept there the whole day.

*

On 19 April, the Belogorsk district people’s court sentenced Riza Seitveliev, husband of Mustafa Dzhemilev’s sister (CCEs 46, 47), under article 188 of the Ukrainian SSR Criminal Code (‘infringement of the residence regulations’), to 2 years’ banishment from the Crimean Region.

The Seitvelievs had complained more than once to the higher authorities — every time they received an answer from the Murom village soviet. For example, in answer to a statement addressed to Brezhnev, the chairman of the Murom village soviet executive committee, A, K. Ponomarenko, replied as follows:

“The executive committee of the Murom village soviet, in answer to the letter which you sent to Moscow, states that the question of your residence permit has not yet been decided.”

The indictment in the Seitveliev case was endorsed by V. F. Grechikhin, the procurator of Belogorsk district, a class 1 jurist. In court Seitveliev asked that officials who refused to give him work or a residence permit should be called as witnesses, but the court would not agree to his request. The inhabitants of the village of Rodnoye, who were called as witnesses by the court, in fact confirmed that the Seitvelievs had not avoided registration for residence or employment, but had, on the contrary, constantly tried to obtain these.

*

On 5 May Amet Abduramanov (from the town of Stary Krym) was sentenced under the same article of the Criminal Code to 4 years’ banishment; on 26 January Edem Nofeyev was sentenced to 2 years’ banishment, as was Bekir Seitumerov on 14 April (both were from Simferopol).

Dilyaver Minimurzayev (CCE 48) has been sentenced to 1 year’s banishment. At first, he was sentenced to be fined, but the procurator protested at the court’s decision.

*

The following persons were conditionally sentenced under the same article in Simferopol district, with compulsory labour: Yunus Suleimanov on 16 November 1977 (2 years); Yusuf Kurtametov on 6 December 1977 (2 years); and Mustafa Memedeminov and his wife in April 1978 (1 year each).

In September 1977 Kurtametov bought a house — in November, the court declared the sale illegal. He is serving his ’compulsory labour’ in Odessa.

The Memedeminovs have two children.

*

At the beginning of 1978 Adzhimelek and Afife Mustafayeva (CCE 47) were again fined 10 roubles each.

On 18 March Afife gave birth to a son. On 21 March, an investigator came to the nursing home. He informed Afife that the case brought against her in 1977 was being cancelled because of an amnesty, and that a new charge was being brought against her under article 196 of the Ukrainian SSR Criminal Code.

On 24 April Adzhimelek Mustafayeva was given a suspended sentence of 1 year’s imprisonment under article 196. The trial of her daughter was postponed, as she is a nursing mother.

*

On 11 May the Kirov district people’s court declared illegal the sale of a house bought by Rashid Emirov (from the village of Lgovka). The court fined the two parties to the sale 150 roubles each.

*

Seidamet Memetov (CCEs 47, 48) has sent an appeal to the Crimean regional court. In his appeal he particularly mentions that on 6 November 1977 the deputy head of the Saki District OVD had told him in the presence of witnesses that his case had been closed because of an amnesty (<Chronicle 47 is inaccurate here), but that on 6 January 1978 he had received an unexpected summons to appear in court.

1.2 Evictions

In April, the electrical engineer Ismet Akimov (born 1950) came to the village of Zybino, Belogorsk district, and bought a house there. On 10 April, the former owners of the house left.

On 13 April, a group of volunteer police led by M. N. Yatsko, Party organizer of the collective farm, and P. I. Drobakha, chairman of the village soviet, broke the lock in Akimov’s presence, carried off his possessions and locked them in the collective farm’s refrigerated storehouse for vegetables. When Akimov came to the village soviet to find out where his things were, Major Pesklov, the deputy head of the District OVD, took away his passport and military identity card and told him his documents would be given back to him in Belogorsk. On 14 April, when Akimov went to collect his documents in Belogorsk, there was an attempt to move a Russian family into his house, but the neighbours prevented it. On 15 April, the light was cut off in Akimov’s house. On 18 April Drobakha and two policemen took Akimov to Belogorsk, where they arrested him on a charge of hooliganism. Judge Fedotov gave Akimov a 15-day sentence. The witnesses to the ‘act of hooliganism* were Drobakha himself and the teacher Snegiryov,

From the first day Akimov went on a protest hunger-strike. Grechikhin, the procurator of Belogorsk district, who visited Akimov in his cell at his request, told him.: ‘You know the Crimean Tatars committed crimes during the war, for which they have to bear responsibility, so nothing can be done about it.*

On 25 April, the head of the collective farm, Maslov, began to supervise the construction of a house on Akimov’s land. The water technician Vladimir Memedinov (born 1955), who had come to Zybino in March, persuaded the workers to abandon the construction. The neighbours, both Tatars and Russians, helped to carry away the building materials. A guard was set up in Akimov’s house. Chernyakov, the head of the District OVD, asked Memedinov to get into a car with him. When Memedinov refused, the police beat him up and took him to Belogorsk. That same evening Memedinov was given a 10-day sentence for ’malicious insubordination*.

On 1 May, the head of the Belogorsk department of the Crimean KGB, llinov, told the Crimean Tatars: ‘If Akimov and Memedinov appear in this house (Akimov’s house — Chronicle), they won’t get away with just 15 days.’

On 2 May Akimov’s uncle and aunt, the Ziyayevs, settled in his house: they had been specially invited to the Crimea to celebrate Victory Day. On 3 May they were beaten up and thrown out of the house; comments were made about Ziyayev’s medals: ‘Go hang another ten bits of metal on yourself!* The Ziyayevs were taken to Nizhnegorsky station. Akimov’s belongings were also taken there. The man in charge of the collective farm garage settled into Akimov’s house.

On 6 May, the day after Memedinov’s release, an attempt was made to settle a Russian family in his house. The operation was organized by those in charge of the collective farm and the drunken local police commissioner, Vladimir Samoilov. The women ran up and began to protest. There was an attempt to read them an order from the collective farm authorities authorizing the eviction, but they did not want to listen to it. The electrician, whom the authorities had wanted to move in, refused to settle there and left. The Crimean Tatars organized a guard rota in the house.

On 4 May, also in Zybino, Fera Adzhiasanova (75 years old) and her daughter Ulker (50 years old) were evicted. The eviction was supervised by Maslov. The Adzhiasanovs’ house was destroyed by bulldozers and they themselves were taken to Nizhnegorsky with their belongings. The authorities there declared they did not want the Adzhiasanovs. They were then taken back. The women settled down in a tent. The next day even the tent was taken away and the yard was levelled. The drivers Vovnisov and Pravdivy drove their belongings away somewhere.

On 14 April in the village of Kalinovka, Lenin district, the family of Amet Abilvanov was evicted. The eviction was supervised by police Major Kuznetsov. The Tatars who came running up were dispersed with rubber truncheons. On 15 April, the evictions continued with a doubled detachment of police headed by a lieutenant-colonel. For ‘resisting the authorities’ 8 persons (including Amet Abilvanov himself and Nadzhiye Bekirova) got 15-day sentences, 3 persons (including the sick, half-witted Seidaly Arabadzhiev) got 10 days each, and Tenzile Arabadzhieva — a pupil of the tenth class — got 5 days. A protest declaration was drawn up (with 150 signatures).

All the above events are described by Ismet Akimov, Vladimir Memedinov, Ulker Adzhiasanova and Nadzhiye Bekirova in a ‘Press Statement’ of 14 May.

*

On 18 February in the village of Markovo, Sovetsky district, a family of three women was evicted: Emine-Sherfe Ametova (born 1936), her mother (81 years old, a bed-ridden invalid) and her daughter Elvira (a schoolgirl of the 9th glass). Emine and Elvira Ametova sent pro-test declarations to Brezhnev and the procurator of the Crimean region. Emine Ametova wrote that since July 1977 she had not been able to obtain work or a residence permit. Elvira Ametova wrote:

“On 18 February … V. Amelichev, the chairman of the village soviet, and A.I. Krivoi, the chairman of the collective farm, came to see us, together with the local policeman Dubinin and 6 volunteer policemen. 1 was getting ready for school — they burst into our house and locked us in from the inside, then said ‘We’re taking you to the village soviet’, and by means of deception took …my grandmother … and me out of the house …”

Elvira was later released and made her way home on foot.

“However, in spite of this gangesterism, on 20 February 1 started to go to school again … but the headmaster, Nikolai Ivanovich, did not let me even get to my desk, saying that they were forbidden to teach children who had no residence permit… 1 ask you to return all my books and belongings, so that 1 can go on living and studying…”

*

In February Ema Islyamova (born 1888) and her grandson were evicted from the village of Kumovo (Razdolnoye district). The doors, windows and floors of their house were broken up.

In March, the married couple Dzhafer Ibraimov (born 1903) and M. Ablayeva (born 1913) were evicted from the house they had bought in Simferopol in February (Lesnaya Street 28). Their possessions were thrown out on to the street.

*

On 22 March, the family of Shefika Ibadullayeva (born 1921 in Razdolnoye district, Crimean region) was evicted from the village of Skvortsovo, Simferopol district.

The family had come to the Crimea in November 1977 and bought a house but had not managed to get the sale registered. In March, the head of Simferopol OVD, Denisov, gave the family seven days to leave the district. He threatened Ibadullayeva, calling her a criminal. Early on the morning of 22 March a detachment of police and volunteer police loaded the Ibadullayev family’s possessions into a truck. Their belongings were sent to Samarkand. The family were sent off there as well. Shefika’s daughter-in-law, Sabriye Ablyayeva, was in the maternity home at the time of the eviction. After her discharge she was forced to travel to Samarkand with an infant in arms (on 21 March she had given birth to a son), still wearing the hospital dressing-gown, as all her belongings had been sent off during the eviction.

*

In Simferopol Vasfiye Seidzhelilova, a mother of four children, was evicted. The former owner of her house (Larionova St. 79) was expelled from the Party and sacked from his job. The first secretary of the town Party committee, Pokrovsky, told him that if he returned Seidzhelilova’s money to her and went back to live in the house, he would be reinstated in the Party and given back his job. He returned the money and moved back into the house by force. He was reinstated in the Party and given back his job.

*

The former partisan Suleiman Tairov bought a house in the village of Orekhovo (Saki district). He was not given a residence permit; the former owner was found and forced to return his money and take back the house. Tairov’s belongings were thrown out on to the street.

*

On 22 December 1977, the family of F. Asanov was evicted from the ‘Crimea’ state farm. Over 40 people took part in the eviction. The Asanov family was taken by night to Dzhankoi and abandoned there.

*

In the village of Tsvetochnoye, Belogorsk district, the following families have been evicted: the Dzhemilevs (27 September 1977), the Ametchiks, Khalilovs and Barievs (9 December 1977), the Mamutovs and Yagyayevs (19 January 1978), the Mustafayevs, Shabanovs and Amzayevs (24 January 1978).

The same reason was given in all cases: ‘illegal purchase of a house’.

1.3 Residence Permits

An unofficial survey has revealed that there are about 400 Tatar families living in the Crimea without residence permits; of these, 30 are in Simferopol, 24 in Simferopol district, 8 in Dzhankoi district, about 150 in Belogorsk district (of these, about 30 are in Belogorsk itself), 46 in Sovetsky district, 18 in Lenin district, 89 in Kirov district (of these, 24 are in the town of Stary Krym) and 23 in Saki district.

In Belogorsk district the unregistered Crimean Tatars have received official notification that they are ‘not to plant anything in their allotments’.

Elnar Emir-Useinova is being refused a residence permit to live with her husband Nariman Bekirov in the village of Chistenkoye, Simferopol district, although she has a Crimean residence permit (in Saki district).

Umer Kaledzhiev has not been able to obtain a residence permit to live with his wife since June 1977.

Alim Mamutov (Simferopol) and M. Osmanov (from the village of Krasnogvardeiskoye in Sovetsky district) cannot get residence permits to live with their parents.

The Sofievo village soviet will not register the family of Nariman Usmanov for residence. Usmanov is being refused a birth certificate for his child.

*

After serving four and a half years in intensified-regime camps, Dzhemil Kurtseitov (CCEs 31, 32, 34) was released in February. He is being refused a residence permit to live with his wife, although she was registered for residence soon after his trial.

*

The secretary of the Chernomorsky district Party committee told Crimean Tatars who had come to him for help in obtaining residence permits: ‘I’m not going to help you to register. Your nation only gives rise to trouble.’

*

On 21 March Rebiya Bilyalova went to keep an appointment she had made two weeks previously at the regional soviet executive committee, about a residence permit. She was detained, taken to the police station and kept there the whole day. She was treated very roughly.

*

On 10 May 60 Crimean Tatars, mostly women, assembled outside the Belogorsk district Party committee building. They asked that at least their representatives should be received. At first, they were told that a delegation of five people would be received, but later even the five delegates began to be received one by one. The delegates were interviewed by Kosyanenko, first secretary of the district committee, deputy chairman Orlovsky of the district soviet executive committee, and Ilinov, head of the Belogorsk department of the Crimean KGB.

The same evening Ilinov and KGB Lieutenant-Colonel Dergach came to the home of Mukhsum Osmanov (CCEs 31, 42, 44, 47), called him an ‘instigator’ and threatened to demolish his house and send his family to Central Asia.

*

At the end of April, a ‘Protest’ by the Crimean Tatars (quoted in CCE 48) was handed in to the Central Committee. The document states that in 1977-78 about 700 Crimean Tatar families came to the Crimea from Uzbekistan. It also declares:

“A great deal of alarm is being caused by the way in which a terror campaign like that of the ‘Black Hundreds’ has been whipped up against the Crimean Tatars in the Crimea.”

2. IN UZBEKISTAN

On 15 March Mustafa Dzhemilev (CCE 48) handed in a statement to the police requesting permission to travel to the Crimea for a meeting with his father (they had not seen each other for about four years, as his father was not well enough to make the journey to visit Mustafa and could not come to him in Tashkent), and also to attend the funeral of his close friend, the writer Shemi-Zade.

On 21 March Major Kurbanov, the head of the preventive measures section of the Tashkent UVD, told M. Dzhemilev that only the KGB could give permission for his journey, and suggested that Dzhemilev should accompany him to see Lieutenant-Colonel A. M. Svalov, so that the problem could be solved. Dzhemilev refused, protesting that the resolution of the question lay entirely within the competence of the preventive measures department of the police. Kurbanov then wrote on Dzhemilev’s statement: ‘In accordance with the regulations on administrative surveillance, travel beyond the limits of Tashkent city is forbidden until the period of surveillance comes to an end.’

On 24 March M. Dzhemilev and T. Osipova, a member of the Moscow Helsinki Group, talked to Lieutenant Bakhtier Atashkulov, inspector of the October District OVD, who was in charge of Dzhemilev’s surveillance. When Osipova asked him on what grounds Dzhemilev had been forbidden to travel to the Crimea, Atashkulov replied: ‘Because he’s a special exile.’ Dzhemilev asked why the police had not taken any steps to prosecute anyone in connection with the break-in at his brother Asan’s flat on 19 January, when the flat had been entered, possibly with theft in mind (CCE 48). Atashkulov replied that measures had been taken to prevent a recurrence: ‘After all, they didn’t steal anything.’

On 1 April Atashkulov tried to hand Dzhemilev an order assigning him to work in some institution, threatening to make an appropriate report if he refused (he already had the report drawn up).

One night in April the local police commissioner, accompanied by a man in civilian clothes, visited the flat of Asan Dzhemilev, where Mustafa figures in the housing list. They tried to hand in some kind of ‘paper’ meant for M. Dzhemilev, which allegedly also mentioned a 10-rouble fine. Asan’s wife, Ediye, refused to take it. Later, when she went to the police to complain about night-time visits, Atashkulov told her: ‘Mustafa is a naive man. He thinks everything has to be absolutely in accordance with the Constitution. But we have our special instructions.’

On 5 April Kurbanov told Mustafa Dzhemilev, who had come to the police station: ‘Don’t talk to me about the laws. I’ve got my superiors — they decide everything. I’ve got nothing to do with it.’

On 19 April M. Dzhemilev was visited by a policeman and two witnesses. He was shown a document fining him 10 roubles for living without a residence permit. (Mustafa, who is requesting permission to live in the Crimea, does not want to be registered for residence in Tashkent.) Dzhemilev refused to sign this document. After a short argument, the policeman said that Dzhemilev was insulting an official and that he would have to make out a report.

On 22 April Dzhemilev came to the police station to register in the routine way. There he was told that the police had sent off evidence to investigator B. Strazhev for him to make out a case against him under articles 199-3 of the Uzbek SSR Criminal Code (‘Malicious infringement of the administrative surveillance regulations’) and 193-1 (‘Insulting a police official’). The points of evidence against him included: (1) living for a lengthy period without a residence permit; (2) infringing the residence regulations, for which he had been fined twice, 10 roubles and 5 roubles (Mustafa had not known of the second fine); (3) gross violation of the administrative surveillance regulations (for the first time); (4) refusal to recognize the administrative surveillance: when he comes on the appointed days to register, he refuses to write his signature.

*

In April 1978 Aishe Seitmuratova (CCE 47) was asked to attend a meeting of the village soviet ‘on a matter concerning herself’. She refused. A few days later, they brought round some kind of decree to her home and attempted to read it out to her, but they refused to give it to her and Seitmuratova was not prepared to listen to it being read. Also in April a letter from the village soviet was read out at meetings (for example, at teachers’ meetings), stating that A. Seitmuratova was a nationalist and a traitor to the motherland, that she had links with Sakharov and even with Israel, which had agreed to give her refuge, and that she was planning to flee abroad. The letter contained a demand, in the name of ‘the Soviet public’, that she should not be allowed to go abroad.

The secret surveillance of Seitmuratova was intensified. On 15 April, when she was getting ready to fly to Tashkent, an unknown man at the airport gave orders in her presence that her ticket should not be registered.

A charge of ‘parasitism* is being prepared against A. Seitmuratova. In an article, ‘Parasites’, published on 13 May in the Samarkand paper The Way of Lenin, A. Seitmuratova was referred to as follows: ‘… even two official warnings did not help her to see the necessity of putting an end to her parasitic way of life…’ Later on, the article quotes the record of a meeting of the administrative commission attached to the executive committee of the Superfosfat village soviet:

‘I. Karimov, chairman of the village soviet, said:

‘The state has given A. Seitmuratova an education; she had a good job… However, it seems she preferred to be idle and to live at the expense of the people. 1 support the proposal that A. Seitmuratova be assigned to compulsory labour.’

*

On 30 April 1978 in the town of Yangiyul, Nurfet Murakhas was detained while visiting his relatives (CCEs 14, 17, 31; in CCEs 14 and 17 his surname is spelt wrongly).

His relatives’ house was searched in connection with an irrelevant criminal case. The following were confiscated: a typewriter, some protests by Crimean Tatars, a camera, and rolls of negative film on which the book The Tashkent Trial [Note 4] and the journal Chronicle of the Defence of Rights [Note 5], number 20, were photographed. Murakhas was then taken to his flat in Tashkent, where a search was also carried out. One kitchen knife was confiscated. Afterwards Murakhas was taken back to Yangiyul and put in the Preliminary Detention Cells.

On 3 May, at night, he was released against a written undertaking not to travel out of Tashkent.