TAGS: Individuals at Risk, Urgent Action Network • Detention and Imprisonment, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Fair Trials, Freedom of Expression, Human Rights Defenders • Europe, Ukraine •
February 13, 2017

Urgent Action Victory! Crimean Lawyer Released But Still At Risk (Ukraine: UA 31/17)


Human rights lawyer Emil Kurbedinov was released on 5 February in Simferopol, Crimea, having served 10 days in administrative detention to which he was sentenced as reprisal for his human rights work. Kurbedinov vowed to continue his work.

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Human rights lawyer Emil Kurbedinov was released on 5 February in Simferopol, Crimea, having served 10 days in administrative detention to which he was sentenced as reprisal for his human rights work. Kurbedinov vowed to continue his work. 
 
Crimean human rights lawyer Emil Kurbedinov was arrested on 26 January and was immediately sentenced by the Zhelezhnodorozhny District Court in Simferopol to 10 days of administrative detention for purportedly violating Article 20.3 of the Russian Administrative Offences Code (propaganda and public display of Nazi and extremist symbols). The charge related to a social media post from 2013 in which Kurbedinov shared a video of the Muslim organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is banned under Russian legislation. The social media post predated the Russian occupation of Crimea. Hizb ut-Tahrir is not a banned organisation under Ukrainian law and the video showed a peaceful assembly. 
 
Emil Kurbedinov has been involved as a lawyer in numerous criminal cases against Crimean Tatars. The Crimean Tatar community has borne the brunt of the crackdown on freedoms and reprisals against all dissenting voices in Crimea after the Russian occupation in 2014. He has worked courageously to draw international attention to human rights violations in the peninsula. After his release, Kurbedinov vowed to continue working for the protection of human rights in Crimea and to continue to perform his professional duties as a lawyer. At the time of writing, Emil Kurbedinov is not facing additional charges, although he remains at risk of further reprisals and harassment by the de facto Crimean and the Russian authorities. 
 
Thank you to all those who sent appeals. No further action is requested from the UA network.
 
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