• Urgent Action

Urgent Action Victory! Crimean Tatar Edem Bekirov Finally Free (Russian Federation: UA 79.19)

September 11, 2019

Crimean Tatar, Edem Bekirov, is finally free and reunited with his family in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, following a prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine on 7 September. Edem Bekirov was arrested by Russian security forces on 12 December 2018 in Russia-occupied Crimea and held in pre-trial detention in inhumane conditions and deprived of the specialized medical care he urgently required.

NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS. Crimean Tatar Edem Bekirov was included in the prisoner exchange between Russia and Ukraine on 7 September, alongside dozens of other Ukrainian nationals who had been imprisoned in Russia following politically-motivated trials. Edem Bekirov, who was a resident in mainland Ukraine, was arrested by Russian security forces on 12 December 2018 when he was visiting his elderly mother in Russian-occupied Crimea. A person with disability, he had spent more than eight months in pre-trial detention in the Crimean capital Simferopol, in conditions that amounted to cruel and degrading treatment. On 9 September he was transferred to the cardiology department in Feofaniya Clinical Hospital, Kyiv, where he underwent heart surgery on 10 September. He is now recovering and is surrounded by his family. Edem Bekirov has a number of serious medical conditions, including diabetes, an open wound on his amputated leg, and heart problems after a heart attack, that required specialised and constant medical care that was not available in the detention centre. As a result, his health deteriorated while in detention, raising serious concerns for his safety. Moreover, he was held in conditions that were not suitable for a person with a disability and he was even deprived of regular access to fresh air and proper access to sanitation. Edem Bekirov’s daughter, Eleonora Bekirova, has thanked all those who supported her father and her family: “Once again I want to thank everyone who helped and supported us during this difficult period, all who wrote words of support to dad and our family. I transferred all your wishes to him!” ADDITIONAL RESOURCES