businessman, chairman of the local Sudak Medzhlis since 2000
- part 2 of Art. 163 of the Russian Criminal Code (extorsion committed by a groupe of persons)
November 23, 2017
3 years of suspended sentence with 3 years of probation
days in custody
On 23 November 2017 Russian security forces arrested Kyazim Ametov in the “Medobory” cafe, in the city of Simferopol. He was there to meet with Asan Chapukh, Bekir Dehermendzhy and 83-year-old veteran of the Crimean Tatar national movement Vedzhie Kashka. She suffered from a heart attack during the security forces operation and died shortly after in an ambulance. The Crimean occupation authorities refused to prosecute those responsible for Vedzhie Kashka’s death.
Searches were also carried out in the village of Grushevka where Kyazim Ametov lives, near Bekir Dehermendzhy’s house. Three other Crimean Tatars were also arrested on the same day: Ruslan Trubach together with brothers Kurtseit and Eldar Abdullaev.
The Abdullaev brothers were released few hours later. However, Kyazim Ametov, Asan Chapukh, Bekir Dehermendzhy and Ruslan Trubach were put in pre-trial detention, being accused of having allegedly extorted large sums of money from a Turkish citizen, Yusuf Aytan. Till January 2019, Kyazim Ametov was kept in the remand prison in Simferopol. On 24 January 2019 de facto district court of Simferopol changed pre-trial detention to home arrest. Kiazim Ametov is 62, he is married and has three children.
Nariman Dzhelyal, one of the leaders of the Crimean Tatar community, refutes the version presented by the Russian security forces, explaining that:
“Turkish citizen Yusuf Aytan is a crook, he abused the trust of one famous Crimean Tatar family [that of Vedzhie Kashka] and stole a large amount of money from her. The activists who are being detained knew about this family’s problem and tried to persuade the Turk to give the money back.”
Ametov has refused to recognise his guilt, explaining he only wanted to help an old woman receive her money back.
Multiple mistakes were also reported in his case, as he was for example listed as being tried for “terrorist activities” instead of “extortion” on the court’s official website. His lawyer also denounced the fact that the personal data of a stranger were put under the name of his client in a court’s official document.
Ametov’s health has deteriorated because of the conditions in the pre-trial detention facility. His eyesight has worsened, he suffers from hypertension and heartaches. His lawyer Emil Kurbedinov considers maintaining detainees in pre-trial detention:
“a type of pressure (…). it is not based on a fear that they could run away. They won’t be able to escape nor to influence anyone under house arrest neither. But here, keeping them in pre-trial detention facility has a fundamentally different aim as it is a terribly overcrowded place infested with fleas, lice, bedbugs. A place where it is cold, that lacks water and where all diseases are aggravated. All of this can account to torture.”