Halya Coynash: Imprisoned Crimean Tatar leaders reportedly exchanged for 2 suspected Russian state-sponsored killers

posted 12 Dec 2017, 11:31 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 12 Dec 2017, 11:37 ]
11 December 2017

By Halya Coynash

Reports in the media that Russia freed Crimean Tatar political prisoners Akhtem Chiygoz and Ilmi Umerov in exchange for two Russians accused of at least one political killing in Turkey cannot be confirmed or denied, however the Kremlin clearly has something to hide. Chiygoz’ lawyer Nikolai Polozov reports that neither Chiygoz nor Umerov were provided with any documents explaining their move before being put on a plane and taken to Ankara in Turkey. Both are therefore, legally speaking, still in Crimea. Chiygoz received just one slip of paper confirming his release. Since that refers to a presidential decree, both Polozov and his colleague Edem Semedlyaev sent lawyers’ requests for information about the relevant decree (or decrees) to President Vladimir Putin’s Administration. Both received letters refusing to provide the information, with the excuse that it was on restricted access. Both Chiygoz and Umerov will be lodging appeals demanding access to these normative acts which directly affect their rights. Polozov says that he will represent both men during the hearing in a Moscow court. [Read more]