1 November 2017

Autumn Brings Fresh Persecutions in Russian-Occupied Crimea

By: Ridvan Bari Urcosta

Despite Western diplomatic efforts and sanctions against Russia, Moscow continues to attack and put pressure on the last vestiges of organized political and social opposition in Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed from Ukraine in early 2014. Indeed, September and October brought renewed persecution on the peninsula. The latest wave of harassment and intimidation began right after the opening of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) annual Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) conference in Warsaw. On September 13, Crimean Tatar Renat Paralamov was kidnapped by unidentified Russian authorities and, he says, severely beaten. However, thanks to international pressure, he was released the next day and found at a bus stop in Simferopol (Krymr.com, September 14)—the first instance, since 2014, that a disappeared individual in Crimea was found within 24 hours of having gone missing.

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