Our TrialWatch initiative has been monitoring Russia’s crackdown on dissent in Crimea, where Russia has systematically silenced Crimean Tatar human rights activists since its occupation of the peninsula in 2014. Dozens of Crimean Tatars are currently serving lengthy prison sentences on “terrorism charges” for alleged involvement with Hizb ut-Tahrir. We have challenged the use of secret witnesses to convict Crimean Tatar advocate Server Mustafayev before the UN (obtaining a decision ordering his release) and have been monitoring the case of Crimean leader Nariman Dzhelyal, who was recently given a severe 17-year sentence.
In September 2022, a Russian court in Crimea convicted Nariman Dzhelyal, one of the few remaining Crimean Tatar leader and someone who had advocated for a peaceful solution to Crimea’s occupation, to 17 years in prison.
There are deep concerns about the reliability of the evidence used against him. Our TrialWatch initiative monitored Dzhelyal’s trial, warning that the prosecution relied on statements allegedly obtained under torture as well as on the testimonies of secret witnesses whose identities were never disclosed to the defence.