October 28, 2018
Russian enforcement officers have carried out a second raid on a meeting of the human rights initiative Crimean Solidarity, with the actions of the masked men this time evidently aimed at instilling fear among all those present. Two Crimean Tatar lawyers Lilya Hemedzhy and Edem Semedlayev were issued ‘warnings’, as was civic activist Dilyar Memetov, one of the coordinators of Crimean Solidarity. Indeed, the brazen nature of the intrusion and of the officers’ ostentatious photographing of the participants elicits concern that this was a warning to all those who demonstrate solidarity with the victims of persecution.
At the meeting in Simferopol on 27 October, officials from the de facto prosecutor’s office turned up, together with unidentified individuals in masks, who later proved to be from the so-called Centre for Countering Extremism, and some uniformed police officers. The masked men hovered around photographing people, while the ‘prosecutor’s office’ officials accosted Hemedzhy, Semedlyaev and Memetov, who is the son of political prisoner, Remzi Memetov.
They claimed to have information about single-person pickets which the two lawyers and Memetov were organizing. Semedlyaev has posted the ‘warning’ in his name, which he considers to be pressure on him as a lawyer. The ‘warning’ is of the inadmissibility of infringing Russia’s law on ‘extremism’ and on protests. It claims that the ‘prosecutor ‘has received information that Crimean Tatar activists supporting Hizb ut-Tahrir, the peaceful pan-Islamic organization which it calls ‘terrorist’ are planning “mass protests under the guise of single-person pickets” in support of people suspected of involvement in Hizb ut-Tahrir.