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Crimean journalist Ruslan Suleimanov moved to a prison in Russia's Chelyabinsk region

23.04.2024, 15:58

Citizen journalist Ruslan Suleimanov / Photo by Crimean Solidarity

Citizen journalist Ruslan Suleimanov, a Crimean Tatar sentenced to 14 years in prison by Russia, has been moved from Novocherkassk (Rostov region) to a prison in Verkhnyuralsk (Chelyabinsk region, Russia).

He wrote about this in a letter to his family sent on April 14, reports "Crimean Solidarity".

Ruslan Suleimanov said that he spent most of the Oraz Bayram fast and the holiday itself on the road. The entire journey took 26 days. He left Novocherkassk, traveled by train through Voronezh, Tambov, Penza, Samara, Orenburg, Orsk, as well as through Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk, before reaching Verkhnyuralsk.

During this time, he was held in four different pre-trial detention centers. He had to wait in a special box for many hours before getting admitted to each. In the Voronezh PTDC No. 1, he fell ill with an acute respiratory disease and had a fever.

"The train travel took 5 days in total. Switched police vans 10 times. At some stations, we (walked  Ed.) from the van to the train with our bags in our hands, all at once, tied to one another with a rope, in formation or on foot. On the train they would take us to the toilet every hour, boiling water was given out three times a day. In general, moving between prisons is not an easy test for a person, one is under considerable stress. At such a moment, you think about the old people, the sick people who had to go through this," Ruslan wrote.

He is now in a quarantine cell.

On March 27, 2019, mass searches of Crimean Tatar households took place in the Kamyanka and Strohanivka microdistricts of Simferopol, Crimea. Due to the large amount of case material, the authorities divided the 25 defendants in the case into five groups of five. Almost all the detainees were citizen journalists or public activists.

On November 24, 2022, the Southern District Military Court's presiding judge Vyacheslav Korsakov, together with judges Denis Galkin and Igor Shendrikov, convicted the Crimean Tatar activists, including Ruslan Suleimanov, of terrorism and an attempted coup. Activists Enver Ametov and Yashar Muedinov were sentenced to 13 years in a high-security prison, and civilian journalists Ruslan Suleimanov, Rustem Sheikhaliev, and Osman Arifmemetov were sentenced to 14 years in prison.

The political prisoners will spend four years in prison, and then their freedom of movement will be restricted for another year. The defendants have pleaded not guilty and consider their persecution to be political.

As reported by the IMI, the Russians unlawfully hold at least 15 journalists in custody. All of them are imprisoned on false charges. Ruslan Suleimanov is one of them.

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