The Persecution of Crimean Tatars, Dec. 1978 (51.13)

<<No 51 : 1 December 1978>>


In the spring of 1978, there were about 700 Crimean Tatar families in the Crimea, living without registration in houses they had bought (CCE 49), Almost all of them had been through the civil courts, which had declared the arrangement of house sales and purchases to be null and void; after this, only a demand for reinstatement by the former owner of the was needed for a ‘legal’ eviction to take place. Since October 1978 this procedure has become unnecessary, owing to an (unpublished) Decree of the USSR Council of Ministers (see below) ‘legalizing’ administrative evictions from houses in the Crimea and even deportation (‘expulsion’) of unregistered families from the Crimea without trial, by decision of district soviet executive committees.

Court proceedings under Article 196 of the Ukrainian SSR Criminal Code (“Violation of the residence regulations”) have continued: in June-July Alim Selimov was sentenced in Sovetsky district to 1 ½ years’ imprisonment, while Server Asanov was sentenced to 2 years; in Simferopol, Memet Seidov was given a conditional sentence of 11 years, with compulsory assignment to labour. (Crimean Tatars are made to serve their “compulsory assignment to labour” outside the Crimea).


JUNE 1978

12 – The Khalilov family, with two children aged three and one, were evicted from the Sunshine State Farm (Simferopol district). The driver of one of the lorries refused to participate in the eviction and drove away.

16 – The family of Memet Seitmamutov has been thrown out of the house they bought in the village of Lugovoi (Simferopol district). The family consists of his 89-year-old mother, his wife and child. The family has begun to live in a tent.

22 – In the village of Chernovo (Saki district) the family of Asan Kosse has been evicted. The evening before, the Crimean Tatar residents of the village were warned not to go away anywhere, as a commission Examining the question of their registration would be going round the bouses. The head of the district police and representatives of the district Party Committee and the district Soviet Executive Committee took part in the eviction.

While trying to lock the doors, Asan Kosse was dealt such a blow that he lost consciousness. His wife and his daughter (ill from birth) were beaten and dragged into a bus, their arms twisted. When Asan regained consciousness, he was pushed into the bus, a shirt stuffed into his mouth. For some hours they were kept under guard in the bus, while their belongings were taken to the storehouse of the state farm. Complaints to Brezhnev. Rudenko and other state leaders by Asan Kosse, a veteran of the Second World War and the Japanese war, were of no help.

23 – In the village of Sadovoye (Nizhnegorsky district) a raid took place on the Mustafayev family, Vera Mustafayeva (b. 1943) is pregnant and has four children. Her husband Nuri Mustafayev, sentenced in December 1977 to 2 years’ banishment, is outside the borders of the Crimea. The police threw a child of 7 months out on to the street together with the family’s possessions. Vera Mustafayeva was beaten up. The operation was conducted by Nikolaichuk. Deputy Head of the district OVD. In spite of the fact that the evidence of her beating was registered during a medical examination, Vera Mustafayeva did not manage to obtain a court hearing of her complaint against the actions of the police.


During the following month there were no evictions, possibly in connection with the self-immolation of Musa Mamut (see below).

27 July – In the town of Stary Krym (Kirovsky district) an attempt to evict the family of Enver Muratov was foiled by the refusal of local vigilantes to participate in this action.


3 – Stary Krym. Eviction of 65-year-old Aishe Baimak and her son. The eviction was carried out by a bailiff on the basis of a court decision declaring the purchase and sale of the house illegal; statements had been obtained from the former owner of the house, renouncing her sale of the house.

Four policemen and 15 vigilantes took part. (This time the vigilantes were brought in from distant villages and were told they were to evict religious sectarians. Those who tried to get out of it were threatened with expulsion from the Komsomol or dismissal from employment.) A. Baimak’s son was beaten up and taken away; she herself was locked up and only released after her possessions had been taken away. The former owner was resettled in the house.

8 – Village of Dobrolyubovka (Kirovsky district). Gulnaz Kharakhadiyeva, a widow with three daughters, was subjected to eviction when only her youngest daughter, a girl of 15, was at home. The eviction was conducted by the chairwoman of the village Soviet, A. Rinkevich (a deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR), a local policeman and a judge. The girl tried to run away but was caught and put into the truck; then their possessions were dragged out of the house and driven away, together with the girl.

When Kharakhadiyeva returned home. A, Rinkevich refused to tell her where her daughter and her property were. A man from a neighbouring village, who helped her to search for them in his car, had his driving licence taken away. They had intended to resettle the former owner in the house, but when she saw the unanimous indignation of the neighbours (Russians), she refused to go back, Kharakhadiyeva remained in her house.


Representatives of the police, sometimes of the ‘public’, drew up a list of all unregistered Crimean Tatars. Among the few exceptions was the family of Musa Mamut. Household furniture and domestic animals were also listed. The accompanying questionnaire included the questions: Where have you come from? From whom did you buy the house and at what price? The address of the former owner. A pretext sometimes given for this undertaking was that it was a preparation for the All-Union Census.


2 – Village of Abrikosovka (Kirovsky district). The family of Osman Gavdzhi was evicted. The operation was conducted by Pokhilko, Chairman of the village Soviet, and local policeman Voloshin. The evicted family returned to their house (see also below 26 October).

4 – Village of Zhuravki (Kirovsky district). Five policemen, led by a captain, and about ten vigilantes evicted 23-year-old Abduraim Pashala and his 70-year-old grandmother from the house they had bought on 22 September. They were taken to the bus-station in the village of Sovetsky.

The former owner of the house was forced to renounce her agreement to sell the house, which had been made before witnesses, but without the presence of a notary (notaries are forbidden to draw up contracts selling houses to Tatars). The family did not leave the Crimea.

9 – Village of Lechebnoye (Belogorsk district). The family of Usein Gafarov — his wife, three children aged from one to eight, and his aged parents (his mother is 84, his father 88) — were deported to the Krasnodar Region. R. Settarov, A. Umarov and Kh. Seitkhalilov, who protested against this action, were imprisoned for 15, 10 and 10 days respectively,

11 – October. There were three evictions in Belogorsk district.

In the village of Novozhilovka, Eskender Suleimanov was beaten up and led away in handcuffs, after which his parents were evicted from their house. The house was bulldozed.

In the village of Kurskoye, the families of S. Osmanov and I. Khumsarov were evicted. The operation was personally conducted by Major Chernyakov, head of the district OVD (CCE 49),

The family of Seitbilyal Osmanov, including the children, were deported to Novoalexeyevka (Kherson Region). (A few days later, when pupils in Class 7 of the local school asked during a Russian lesson why their classmate Tair had been evicted, teacher R. A. Rudakova replied, “The Crimea is overpopulated, there isn’t enough food”.)

The house belonging to the second family was bulldozed. Ismail Khumsarov, who had bought the house, was at the time in Uzbekistan, fetching his bride. His father was forced into a police car by kicks and blows. The police sent with him to Belogorsk some other people, who had protested against the eviction and the destruction of the house, as well as Enver Ametov (CCE 47), a neighbour of the Khumsarovs, who had been put under ‘preventive’ detention before the action started: he had been picked up in the yard of his house. In Belogorsk three other people, who had come to enquire about the fate of those held, were also detained.

Some of those detained were fined, others were held under arrest: S. Osmanov for 15 days, E. Ametov, N. Dagdzhi, E. Dzhepparov and A. Umerov for 10 days each. Those arrested were taken to a special detention centre in Simferopol, where Lieutenant Katkov said, on receiving them, “There’s a Decree of the Council of Ministers on the eviction of the Crimean Tatars. The year 1944 will be repeated — that’s no secret to anyone.”

The Khumsarov family set up a tent in their yard (see also below: 19 November).

12 – About 200 Crimean Tatars came to the district Soviet Executive Committee to protest to the district authorities. The building was ringed by police and vigilantes drawn from the town and many villages of the district. Also present were Chernyakov, head of the district OVD, and district KGB Chief Ilinov. The police dispersed the Crimean Tatars. The Deputy Head of the district OVD, Pisklov (CCE 49, where his name was spelt Pesklov) also stated that on 15 October a total eviction of Crimean Tatars from the Crimea would begin.

Second half of October. In many Crimean villages meetings to discuss the evictions took place. Party organizer Sidorov at the Gorny collective farm (village of Bogatoye, Belogorsk district) called on collective farmers at the meetings not to defend the Crimean Tatars, but to help the police. Sidorov turned up at school while a class of pupils were writing an essay about the war and told the teacher to make sure the essays mentioned “the treason of the Crimean Tatars”.

18 – Fyodorov, Presiding Judge of the Belogorsk people’s court, summoned all citizens who had sold their houses to Crimean Tatars. He demanded that they should give back the money they had received for the houses and return to live in them.

“Otherwise, you will be deported together with the Tatars, and in addition you’ll each get 2 years’ compulsory labour,” stated Fyodorov.

20 – Village of Novopokrovka (Kirovsky district). Adzhier Avlyakimova, who was living in the house of her registered son, was evicted and sent to the port of Krym, (Her husband was an underground fighter during the war years, her youngest son is now serving in the army.)

26 – Village of Abrikosovka (Kirovsky district). Second eviction of the Gavdzhi family (see 2 October). This time a detachment of 50 policemen, headed by Captain Nikhayev, Head of the district OVD, was moved into the village. Petty convicts serving 15-day sentences were brought in to move the furniture. Gavdzhi’s daughter Nefize, a pupil of class 7, was deceived by headmistress T P. Konovalova and sent home. The Gavdzhi family were taken in lorries and a bus, with a convoy of police cars, to the station of Novoalexeyevka (Kherson Region), from which they were to be sent on to Central Asia. The ‘operation’ was then interrupted. In a short space of time over 200 people gathered in Novoalexeyevka. They wrote slogans on the vehicles which had brought the evicted people and their property: “We demand equal rights! “, “Shame on the Soviet police!” and “Stop the violence!“ Ukrainians and Russians, as well as Crimean Tatars, took part in this spontaneous demonstration.

The demonstrators, in spite of the additional forces of police brought in, did not allow the furniture to be transferred to rail wagons. In the morning a police colonel arrived and persuaded the people to disperse, promising that the Gavdzhi family would be allowed back home. When Osman Gavdzhi returned to his house, the village soviet told him that if he did not leave the Crimea voluntarily within 7 days, then the year 1944 would be repeated for his family and himself. Osman Gavdzhi is 43 years old; his wife Sanie is 39. Two of his eldest sons are now serving in the Army.


9 – A delegation of Crimean Tatars came to the regional committee of the Party to hand in a declaration of protest, signed by 750 people from various parts of the Crimea, to the committees First Secretary. The latter refused to receive them, but an employee of the committee told them they would be received by the Deputy Chairman of the regional Soviet Executive Committee, Baranovsky.

On 15 November, when three delegates went to the Executive Committee, Baranovsky demanded that they come in to see him one by one and talk only about themselves personally. The delegates refused. In the meantime, a police unit appeared in the building and the police chief began to drive the delegates out. He said the police had been summoned because “The Crimean Tatars are about to organize a demonstration.”

In November unregistered Crimean Tatars were summoned to village soviets and district soviet executive committees, and, on the basis of a new Decree (No. 700) of the USSR Council of Ministers (15 August) on observance of the residence regulations in the Crimean Region, they were warned to “leave the Crimea within 7 days”. None of the “violators of the regulations” summoned was shown the text of the decree, but it was explained to them that it gave the district soviet executive committee the right to carry out a decision on eviction and deportation from the Crimea with the aid of the police.

19 – Village of Kurskoye. Crimean Tatar young people assembled for a Sunday voluntary work-stint, to rebuild the Khumsarovs’ house, which had been bulldozed on 11 October. They had gathered money in advance to pay for building materials which they brought with them. The chairman of the village soviet would not let the young people do any work and the bricks in the Khumsarovs’ yard were taken away.

In May and June 896 signatures were collected in the Crimea on an appeal addressed to Kurt Waldheim, Secretary-General of the UN. The appeal states that the unwillingness of the Soviet leaders to respond to the peaceful and lawful demands of the Crimean Tatars makes it necessary for them to seek support for their national and individual rights from the UN. They list the articles of the International Convention Outlawing all Forms of Racial Discrimination, and of the International Covenants on Human Rights, which have been violated by the Soviet government. In conclusion, the Crimean Tatars ask that a commission to be set up to investigate the situation in the Crimea. The supplements to the appeal contain detailed evidence of discrimination, illegality and cruelty practised by the authorities.

On 2 September the Moscow Helsinki Group published a document, “Discrimination against the Crimean Tatars continues” (Document No. 60), supporting the appeal.

At the end of November over 2,000 Crimean Tatars signed a “Protest Declaration”, addressed to the central Soviet, Party and State organs, and also to the UN Commission on Human Rights.

Many of the above-mentioned facts are taken from this declaration.

The Self-immolation of Musa Mamut

On 23 June Musa Mamut, a 46-year-old Crimean Tatar, committed suicide by self-immolation.

In April 1975 he, his wife Zekie Abdullayeva and their three children settled in the Crimea after acquiring a small house in the village of Besh-Terek (now Donskoye, in Simferopol district). They were refused residence registration and confirmation of the sale and purchase by a notary. In May 1976, under Article 196 of the Ukrainian SSR Criminal Code [“violation of residence regulations”], Musa Mamut was sentenced to 2 years in the camps and his wife was given a 2-year suspended sentence (CCE 41). On 18 June 1977 M. Mamut was released early for good work and exemplary behaviour and returned home. Once again, he was pursued by summonses, warnings, and threats of another trial and eviction.

Musa Mamut, 1931-1978

“In March 1978 we were received by Chairman Tsekhia of the district Soviet Executive Committee and asked him to grant our family registration and employment, as we were in a difficult material situation. Our children had been starving. The Chairman replied briefly: “Not only will we not register you, but on the contrary — as soon as it gets warm, we’ll evict you” … My husband Musa declared that he had prepared a canister of petrol in order to immolate himself. Thus, he would simply not leave his homeland, the Crimea, or his own house.”

(From a declaration to the Procurator-General by Zekie Abdullayeva, written in August 1978.)

On 20 June 1978, police investigator Captain Ponomaryov told Mamut and his wife after a three-hour interrogation that a criminal case would be made out against them under Article 196. Mamut told Ponomaryov that they would not take him alive.

Three days later local policeman Saprykin drove up to Mamut’s house and demanded that he should immediately accompany him to the village soviet, where investigator Ponomaryov was waiting for him. Going out to the far end of the yard, Musa poured petrol over himself and, running back towards the policeman, set himself on fire. Saprykin left at once.

This took place before the very eyes of Ridvan Charukhov (CCEs 31, 32, 34, 37), who was living in the same village and had come over to Mamut’s when he saw the policeman driving up to the house. Charukhov ran up to Musa to put out the flames but could not do this with his bare hands. He ran into the house for a blanket, but meanwhile two workers from a passing car had managed to extinguish the flames round Musa. They immediately took Musa to the hospital in Simferopol, but the burns were too extensive.

On 28 June Musa Mamut died.

The funeral took place on 30 June. On that day the roads into Donskoye were blockaded, buses and other vehicles were forbidden to stop in the village, and many Crimean Tatars were warned the day before that if they participated in the funeral, they would lay them-selves open to a charge of disturbing the peace and so on. In spite of all these measures, about 1,000 people assembled for the funeral. The funeral procession was accompanied by banners: “To our dear daddy and husband, who gave his life for his Homeland, the Crimea”, “To dear Musa Mamut, a victim of injustice towards the Crimean Tatar nation”, “To Musa from his indignant Russian brothers. Rest in peace, justice will triumph”.

The elderly Amet-Aga from a neighbouring village, who performs the functions of a mullah – there are no ‘official’ mullahs in the Crimea – led the prayers. A few people made speeches over the grave. At the suggestion of one of the speakers, those present swore to do all they could to ensure that Musa’s sacrifice on behalf of his people would not be in vain.


The funeral took place under the watchful eyes of the police and KGB, whose activities on the spot were supervised by Colonel Pavlenko, Deputy Head of the Crimean KGB.

Besides the obstacles placed in the way of access to the cemetery, the authorities tried to prevent dissemination of information about the self-immolation and the funeral. As soon as Mamut was brought to the hospital, he was declared in quarantine and only his wife was allowed access to him. On 30 June telephone links with Donskoye were broken off, while public telephones in Simferopol could not be used for conversations with Moscow. Searches for written information were undertaken. For example, on 1 July Ebazer Seitvaapov, a resident of Simferopol, was taken off a suburban bus. The “employees of the Criminal Investigation Department” searched him, suspecting him to be a criminal liable to investigation’ and carefully examining all the papers he had on him. Finding nothing, they let him go.


On 4 July, A.D. Sakharov sent a letter to L. I. Brezhnev and N. A. Shchelokov:

“… Apart from the immediate circumstances, the self-immolation of Musa Mamut is really due to the national tragedy of the Crimean Tatar people, who in 1944 were the victims of a monstrous crime by Stalin and his assistants, and who from 1967 to 1978 — since the exculpation of the Crimean Tatars by a Decree of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet — have again become victims of continued discrimination and injustice …

“I appeal to you, as I am convinced of the urgent necessity of most decisive and widespread intervention by the highest state authorities in the land. The tragic death of Musa Mamut, whose name will live for ever in the memories of his fellow-countrymen and all decent people, must serve to restore justice, to restore the scorned rights of his people.

“I ask you also to make sure that an adequate pension is paid to his wife and children and that the specific circumstances of his death are investigated.”


At the end of July, a KGB Colonel from Kiev had a talk with Dzhemil Veliullayev, who had made a speech at the funeral. His questions included the following: Why was the Moslem burial ritual disregarded, in that women were present at the cemetery and people had brought flowers and wreaths? What was the oath taken by the crowd over the grave? How had it come about that Western radio had immediately reported Mamut’s self-immolation and the funeral? The colonel told Veliullayev: “Don’t hope that this self-immolation will help the Crimean Tatars. On the contrary, the solution of your whole problem will only take longer.”

In July the regional procurator’s office carried out an investigation. Mamut’s neighbours were asked if they had not seen any peculiarities in his behaviour. Questions of this kind were also asked in Yangi-Yul (Uzbekistan), where Mamut’s family had lived before returning to the Crimea.

The authorities made big efforts to spread a story among the local population, according to which the Crimean Tatars themselves had persuaded Musa to set himself on fire, promising him they would be able to put out the flames. This accusation was directed primarily at Ridvan Charukhov.

In July 1978, Investigator Karatygin from the regional Procurator’s Office interrogated Zekie Abdullayeva. He tried to portray the situation in which Mamil’s family found themselves as being the result of a misunderstanding. When Abdullayeva told him that the police had refused them registration because of the small size of the living- space in the house they had bought (“the sanitary norms are not being complied with”), he was ‘amazed’: “The sanitary norms don’t apply to private house-owners.”

Seeing that the investigation was not going to touch on the real causes of Musa Mamut’s death, Z. Abdullayeva wrote a declaration to the Procurator-General (quoted above) on 15 August. The declaration ends with the words:

“The people directly responsible for the death of my husband Musa Mamut, who was born in 1931 and the father of three children, are the local authorities of the Crimea, or, more precisely, the Procurator’s Office and the police. It was they who unceasingly hounded him and drove him to an extreme action.

“I ask you to investigate immediately and bring to justice those responsible for my husband’s self-immolation, in accordance with the existing articles of the RSFSR and Ukrainian SSR Criminal Codes.”


Reshat Dzhemilev appealed to the King of Saudi Arabia, Khaled ibn Abdul-Aziz as-Saudu, to help his people: “The Islamic world must listen to the voice of the guardian of the holy Qaaba; this is a mighty force.”

R. Dzhemilev speaks in his letter of the Crimean Tatars’ situation, their lack of rights, and the cruel persecution which led to the death of Musa Mamut.

“This was not suicide, which is forbidden by the Koran. I declare it a murder, committed by the Soviet authorities.

“… I do not think that the living torch of Musa Mamut’s body will awaken the consciences of the Bolshevik leaders. But I do hope for help and solidarity with my people’s struggle from all decent people in the world, most of all from our fellow-believers, the Moslems.

“I also ask you to declare Musa Mamut a martyr fallen in the battle for the faith, for goodness and justice.”

On 22 August a document signed by 685 Crimean Tatars was sent from Uzbekistan to the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet. protesting against the violence of the Crimean authorities which led to the tragic death of Musa Mamut and asking for the repeal of all anti-Constitutional state legislation and decisions concerning the Crimean Tatars.

The Suicide of Izzet Memedullayev

On 19 November 1978, in the village of Yarkoye Pole, Kirovsky district, Izzet Mammedaliyev (b. 1937) hanged himself.

He had come to the Crimea in September 1977 with his wife and 3 daughters (they are now 10, 6 and 4 years old). He was refused registration in the house he had bought. The village soviet more than once summoned the former owner of the house and demanded that before winter came, he should return the money to Memedullayev and settle into the house again. Memedullayevhimself was often summoned by the Administrative Commission, which threatened to make out a criminal case against him under Article 196 of the Ukrainian SSR Criminal Code.

It is known that not long before Memedullayev’s death a KGB official from Feodosiya, Rodionov, had obtained from him a written note promising to work with the KGB, However, a few days later Memedullayev demanded the note back: he declared he had handed it over while he was in a depressed state because of his situation. Rodionov replied that he did not have the note with him but promised to destroy it. Immediately after this meeting, the local authorities increased the pressure on Demodulate. He began to be summoned every day. Izzet Memedullayevleft a letter: “I have never been a scoundrel. I want to die with a clear conscience.”

Izzet Memedullayev’s funeral took place on 22 November. In spite of strong counter-measures by the local authorities (all roads into the village of Zhuravki, where the cemetery was, were barred), the funeral was attended by about 300 people, including Russians. The funeral was conducted under strict surveillance by numerous KGB officials and policemen.

In the Krasnodar Region

About 30,000 Crimean Tatars live in the Krasnodar Region. They are mostly those who came to the Crimea from Central Asia and were either deported from there or could not find accommodation there (many such families arrived in 1978).

At first, the Crimean Tatars were not hindered from settling in Krasnodar Region and were even welcomed (as honest workers). Now, however, the authorities greet new settlers in almost the same way as in the Crimea: they won’t legalize sales of houses to them or register their residence. Various rumours are disseminated among the Russian population, slandering the Crimean Tatars (for example, one ‘report’ blamed Crimean Tatars for the murder of a watchman during the burglary of a shop in a settlement on the edge of Novorossiysk — until the real criminals were caught).

On the night of 18 May, the anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1944, a black flag was hoisted in the settlement of Nizhne-Bakansky. At 4 am the flag was taken down. An investigation began, conducted by local KGB Chief Major Zagummeny and KGB officials from Novorossiysk. Crimean Tatars were summoned for interrogation to the village soviet. On 24 May soldiers were brought into the settlement and patrolled the streets. All the Crimean Tatars had their names listed. Operational groups of 6 to 8 men inspected the houses and yards of the Crimean Tatars. Even schoolboys were summoned for interrogation. During this action a rumour was spread among the population that the Crimean Tatars were going to be deported to Siberia.

In Nizhne-Bakansky, out of 8,000 inhabitants 6,000 are Crimean Tatars.



Reshat Shamilev, who lived with his family of four in the town of Bekabad (Tashkent Region), sold his house in July 1978 so that he could leave for the Crimea. The head of the passport office refused to de-register him, citing an instruction not to de-register Crimean Tatars ‘heading for the Crimea’.

After complaining to the Uzbek SSR Minister of Internal Affairs, Shamilev received a reply which stated in part:

“As regards the question of de-registration from your place of residence and resettlement in the Crimea, we must explain that, according to a decision of the USSR Council of Ministers (28 August 1974) ‘On the rules of registration and de-registration’, registration for residence in towns and urban settlements is permitted only if living accommodation is available. On the basis of this decision, on de-registering in your town you must show confirmation from a district Soviet Executive Committee that you have a place to live in your proposed area of new registration.”

Refusal to de-register Crimean Tatars wishing to leave for the Crimea has been a practice in Uzbekistan since the spring of 1978. The ‘legal’ bases of this refusal became known to Mustafa Dzhemilev, and in this connection he wrote the following declaration on 25 October:

“To the Chairman of the USSR Supreme Court

“Copies to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR

and Parliaments of the State-Participants in the Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

“On 22 October 1978, in the October district Police Station in Tashkent, which is in charge of open administrative surveillance of me after the end of my prison sentence on a charge of slandering the nationalities policy of the Soviet government, I was shown a letter dated 10 October 1978, from Kh. Kayumov, head of the passport office of the UVD of the Tashkent city Soviet Executive Committee, which mentioned among other things an unpublished ‘Instruction No, 221 from the Uzbek SSR Minister of Internal Affairs (26 April 1978) regarding citizens of Tatar nationality formerly resident in the Crimea’.

“According to this ‘Instruction’ from the Minister, as Kh. Kayumov says in the letter, ‘citizens of Tatar nationality formerly resident in the Crimea are forbidden to settle in the Crimea without supporting documents showing that they can be found living accommodation and employment in the Crimea”. This ‘Instruction’ applies exclusively to citizens of Crimean Tatar nationality…

“Undoubtedly this ‘Instruction’ contradicts Articles 34 and 36 of the USSR Constitution as well as international legal documents signed by the Soviet state, including the U N Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Helsinki Agreements Therefore I ask you to take steps to investigate the circumstances in which this ‘Instruction’ was issued and to bring those responsible to justice …”

On 31 May Mustafa Dzhemilev (CCEs 48, 49) was detained on the street when, together with Reshat Dzhemilev (CCE 48) and Fuat Ablyamitov, he was walking past the Intourist hotel Uzbekistan. M. Dzhemilev was told that by being ‘in a public place’ he was breaking the surveillance regulations and was sent off to the district police station (R. Dzhemilev accompanied him). There Major Kurbanov (CCE 48) agreed, in answer to M. Dzhemilev’s protests, that there had been no legal reason for his detention but explained that “KGB officials might well have feared that you wanted to establish contact with foreigners”. (At that time a festival of films from Asia, Africa and Latin America was going on in Tashkent).

During Mustafa Dzhemilev’s detention policemen and men in civilian clothes searched Ablyamitov’s briefcase, which “was similar to a stolen one”. KGB Captain Sviridov threatened to “put an end to his career”, if he maintained his contacts with the Dzhemilevs. (F. Ablyamitov is a Candidate of Medical Sciences and an instructor in the Faculty of Neurological Diseases of Tashkent Medical Institute.)

On 29 June, the administrative surveillance of Mustafa Dzhemilev was prolonged for another six months. Then, on 22 October, he was warned yet again about living without registration.

On 25 October Mustafa Dzhemilev and Reshat Dzhemilev were detained near the house of friends by ‘employees of the Criminal Investigation Department’, who explained that a flat in the house had recently been burgled and that their department was now checking the documents of all visitors to the house. When it turned out that neither had documents with him, they were sent to the police station, where they were held for five hours. After this the police chief told them “there has been a misunderstanding”.


The national movement of Crimean Tatars in Uzbekistan has become organized around the demand that all decrees and resolutions concerning the Crimean Tatars be repealed as discriminatory (see the Appeal Statement addressed to L. I. Brezhnev — CCE 47). It continues to send representatives to Moscow. Nos. 4 to 6 of an Information Bulletin (“report of work done”), signed by representatives S. Umerov, E. Abdullayev, F. Yazydzhieva, R. Kadiyev, S. Asanov, I. Asanin, K. Useinov, R, Gemidzhi and M. Mamutov describe their attempts to obtain a reply to the Appeal Statement from the Central Committee. “You won’t get any reply,” they were told on the telephone by officials of the Central Committee office. “We’re fed up with hearing the word anti-constitutional.”

In August the representatives handed a volume of supplements to the Appeal Statement (152 pp.) to the [CPSU] Central Committee, containing the texts of decrees and resolutions and 19 reports of a historical, political and cultural nature, including reports about the participation of the Crimean Tatars in the war [1941-1944], the destruction of cultural monuments, and the liquidation of Crimean Tatar education and literature.


Three members of the Movement from Samarkand — the physicist R. Kadiyev (CCEs 9, 22, 47), philologist K. Useinov and engineer I. Asanin — together with V. Gafarov, a philologist from Moscow, sent a letter to P. N. Demichev, the USSR Minister of Culture, asking him to comply with the “Law on the preservation and use of Historical and Cultural Monuments”:

“… in the years since the war, of 46 mosques in the Crimea only 6 are still standing, of 5 medressahs only one is left, of 21 mausoleums only 5 are left …

“We call your attention to the deliberately cruel destruction of Moslem and other Crimean monuments …”


On 14 October 1978, a republic-level conference of the National Movement (15 people) took place in Andizhan. Police dispersed the conference and four men — Dzheppar Akimov (CCE 31), Belyakhov, Reshat Dzhemilev and Iskander Fazilov — were taken to Tashkent. The raid was conducted by Major Gavrilov and Lieutenant-Colonel AbduIadzhayev.


In 1974 the region of Dzhizak was formed in Uzbekistan. As first Secretary of the regional Party Committee the Crimean Tatar Seitmemet Tairov was appointed. Many other posts were also assigned to Crimean Tatars — for example, those of Deputy Procurator, editor of the newspaper and Head of the OBKhSS (Department to Combat Speculation and the Stealing of Socialist Property). This was an obvious attempt to make the region the base for ‘implantation’ of the Crimean Tatars in Uzbekistan. On 8 February 1978, however, Tairov was transferred to the post of Minister of Forestries in a ministry only just set up in Uzbekistan. The Crimean Tatars joked that Tairov had not managed to arrange the ‘implantation’ of his fellow-countrymen and so had been transferred to ‘planting saplings” instead.


In 1977 the following appeal was circulated among Crimean Tatars in Uzbekistan:

“This appeal is addressed to you by people who love the Crimea no less than the firebrands who loudly call themselves fighters for the national cause.

“However, we hold even more dear our whole beloved Motherland — the land of the Soviets. Every decent person should think in the first place only of her …

“No one can be regarded as Soviet if he tries to compromise the policies of our dear Party and State. Thousands of our countrymen are now living and working in the Crimea. There are no problems in settling there, as provocateurs shout…

“Fellow-countrymen, do not believe such people. They are deceivers. Drive out the provocateurs who have sold their souls to the West! Some of them have already provided for themselves and are getting ready to emigrate abroad. That’s where they should go. Do not give them money or sign their libellous scrawls. That only does harm to the good name of the diligent Crimean Tatar people.”

There are 31 signatures on the appeal. Almost all are Party members; over 20 are foremen, directors and so on.