entrepreneur (owned a shop, a bakery and a cafe)
- part 2 of Art. 163 of the Russian Criminal Code (extortion committed by a group of persons)
November 23, 2017
3 years of suspended sentence and 3 years of probation
days in custody
Ruslan Trubach, 53, a father of three children, was arrested on 23 November 2017. Security forces took him off the bus where he was sitting together with his wife. On the same day, Crimean Tatar activists Asan Chapukh, Kyazim Ametov, Bekir Dehermendzhy and 83-year-old veteran of the Crimean Tatar national movement Vedzhie Kashka were also detained in the city of Simferopol. Vedzhie Kashka 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.
Kyazim Ametov, Asan Chapukh, Bekir Dehermendzhy and Ruslan Trubach were put in pre-trial detention, being accused of having allegedly extorted money in a large scale from a Turkish citizen, Yusuf Aytan. Brothers Kurtseit and Eldar Abdullaev were also arrested together with the four activists on 23 November 2017 but were released few hours later.
Till January 2019 Ruslan Trubach 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.
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.”
Zair Smedlyaev, head of the Kurultai of the Crimean Tatar People, also considers the arrests of the four as politically motivated in an attempt to silence them and discredit the Medzhlis by engaging criminal procedures against its alleged members.
Lawyer Emil Kurbedinov considers the detention conditions in the pre-trial detention centre where the detainees are being kept comparable to a form of torture:
“We consider that maintaining people in pre-trial detention is a type of pressure (…). It is not based on fear that they could run away. They won’t be able to escape nor to influence anyone under house arrest either. But here, keeping them in pre-trial detention facility has a fundamentally different aim as it is a terrible 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.”