Russia rejects appeal of Crimean human rights defender

On 26 May, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation upheld the 12-year sentence of Emir-Usein Kuku and five of his co-defendants. Human Rights House Foundation calls for the immediate release of Kuku and all other imprisoned Crimean human rights defenders.

Among 100+ Crimean political prisoners held by the Russian Federation, Emir-Usein Kuku has been behind bars since February 2016 for monitoring and investigating enforced disappearances in Crimea. Following the ruling, Emir-Usein Kuku will serve the remaining seven years of his sentence in prison.  His imprisonment is unjust punishment for his human rights work. Kuku and all other political prisoners in Crimea should be immediately released.

By upholding the sentence against Emir-Usein Kuku, the Russian authorities once again show their determination to use all possible means to punish human rights defenders in Crimea and prevent them from carrying out their legitimate work.

Video: Meryem Kuku, wife of Emir-Usein Kuku talks events leading up to his detention. This interview and the others in the video were conducted in 2018, was a part of a fact-finding mission to Crimea undertaken by three Human Rights Houses. 

HRHF has continued to raise two cases of Crimean human rights defenders, in particular, those of Emir-Usein Kuku, and of Server Mustafayev (coordinator of Crimean Solidarity) who was sentenced to 14 years in September 2020. The United Nations General Assembly drew specific attention to both cases in a December 2020 resolution (A/RES/75/192) on the human rights situation in Crimea. Both cases deserve the Council’s further attention.

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