On 9 December 2016 Human Rights in Ukraine reported that Emir-Huseyn Kuku, a human rights activist imprisoned in Crimea, annexed by Russia, has been placed in a psychiatric clinic. Emir-Huseyn Kuku, the son of a veteran of the Crimean Tatar national movement, is a member of the Crimean Contact Group on Human Rights and has been engaged in monitoring rights abuse in the Yalta region. As Halya Coynash wrote: 'This is purportedly for a "psychiatric assessment", but the lack of any grounds and forced hospitalization make charges of punitive psychiatry in his case and that of five other prisoners arrested with him warranted. The timing was also brutally cruel since Kuku had been due in court for the latest remand hearing.' The hearings, Halya Coynash notes, 'are an opportunity for family members to see their husbands, fathers or sons. 9-year-old Bekir would not have been allowed into the courtroom, but he was at the court building hoping to see his father.' As Halya Coynash points out, 'There are extremely strong grounds for believing that all measures against Kuku over the last 18 months – and these have been many and varied - are politically motivated. He and 18 other Crimean Muslims are now charged with alleged and unproven involvement in an organization - Hizb ut-Tahrir - which is legal in Ukraine. Russia’s Supreme Court declared the organization ‘terrorist’ in 2003, with the decision kept secret until it could no longer be appealed. No sensible grounds were provided, and the renowned Memorial Human Rights Centre considers all those convicted of such charges to be political prisoners.'
In an impassioned appeal on Facebook, his mother Munira Abduraimova has expressed outrage at the actions of Russian law enforcement: “My son was not involved in that organization. He merely deeply studied the essence of Islam and strictly observed all its teachings. Is this really to be deemed a crime? My son is guilty only of being a member of a human rights organization and refusing to collaborate with an investigator from the Yalta FSB who demanded that he provide help in identifying ‘terrorists’ who didn’t exist and could exist among our people in Crimea. Crimea always was and remains a peaceful region thanks to Crimean Tatars who even in the most different situations demonstrated restraint and common sense, and who managed to keep peace and calm and not turn our national Homeland into a trouble spot. Could you really find ‘terrorists’ among such a courageous people? Insane nonsense!" [Translation by Halya Coynash]
Photo: Human Rights in Ukraine
Halya Coynash, 'Crimean Tatar rights activist placed in psychiatric clinic on eve of Human Rights Day,' Human Rights in Ukraine, 12 December 2016