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Russia beats Crimean Tatar political prisoner Vadym Bektemirov

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Crimean Tatar Political prisoner Vadym Bektemirov sentenced to 11 years, was beaten up by the staff of the penal colony №6 in St. Petersburg city (Russian federation). They also took away his Koran and medicines. This was reported to the civil movement “Crimean Solidarity” by his wife Lemara Bektemirova on 7 December 2023. 

Earlier, Vadym disappeared for two months when he was transferred from the prison in Yelts, Lipetsk region, Russian Federation. The Russian Federal Penitentiary Service responded to the wife’s inquiries about the whereabouts of the Crimean Tatar that it “does not keep centralized personal records” of prisoners and those in pre-trial detention. On November 16, 2023, Vadym was found in the penal colony №6 in St. Petersburg city. 

About the fact that he was beaten, Lemara Bektemirova found out not immediately. Her husband was able to call on a payphone only after he was taken out of quarantine. “Now his well-being is satisfactory. He is allowed to read namaz. He has been working at a machine at a food bag factory” – noted the wife of Vadym. 

The prison administration didn’t give parcel with medicine to sick civil journalist and political prisoner Amet Suleymanov 

On 1 December, the wife of Crimean Tatar political prisoner and civilian journalist Amet Suleymanov reported on her Facebook page that her husband had not received a parcel with medicines that were critically needed to support his sick heart. On 5 December, the Mission of the President of Ukraine in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea spoke with Amet’s wife, Lilia Lyumanova. The problem is in the fact that the administration of prison did not want to let the medicines pass until the prison doctor prescribed it. Mr Suleymanov told his wife that he had been informed about some future medical examination. It is likely that after this medical examination, when the prison administration has its own conclusion about Mr Amet’s health, they may allow the medication that his wife planned to give him. Unfortunately, it is unknown when and for how long the examination will be carried out and whether it will be possible to transfer the medicines. 

We would be grateful for your assistance in putting pressure on Russia to ensure that the prison conducts the examination as soon as possible and that Mr Suleymanov is given the necessary medicines prescribed by his doctor at home. His wife says that they do give him some 2 medicines in prison to maintain his condition, but they are not quite suitable for Amet.

Political prisoner Yashar Shykhametov was taken out of the courtroom on a stretcher 

Crimean activist and political prisoner Yashar Shykhametov, sentenced to 11 years of imprisonment, complained of poor health at the hearing of the appeal court in Vlasikha city (Russian Federation) on 6 December 2023. Because of serious problems with his back, he was carried out of the courtroom on a stretcher. This was told to the civil initiative “Crimean Solidarity” by his lawyer Alexey Ladin. 

After examination by a medical worker Shykhametov was carried back. The doctor said that the Crimean Tatar allegedly can participate in the court session further. Before the hearing, the elderly political prisoner complained to his lawyer that he was experiencing increasing pain in his heart and kidneys. The necessary medication was given to political prisoner, but it did not help. The court left Shykhametov’s sentence unchanged. 

Testimonies of illegally displaced Ukrainian children 

On 25 November 2023 the Washington Post published testimonies of Ukrainian children who were kidnapped by Russian occupiers and recently returned to Ukraine. Please find details under the link –

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