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"Graty" demand the release of their reporter Lutfie Zudieva, detained in Crimea

27.07.2023, 18:09
Photo: Illya Tarasov / Krym.Realii
Photo: Illya Tarasov / Krym.Realii

The media outlet "Graty" demands the immediate release of their journalist Lutfie Zudieva, who was detained by the police in the occupied Crimea today, July 27. This is reported on the "Graty" website.

Zudieva had arrived to the Russian-installed Supreme Court of Crimea to cover a court hearing in the case of Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, Nariman Celâl, and the Ahtemov brothers, whom the Russian authorities accuse of sabotage.

According to "Graty", Zudieva was not allowed to enter the court room and was later detained together with 12 more Crimean Tatars – relatives and friends of Celâl and the Akhtemovs who had been trying to attend the open hearing to no avail. Kulamet Ibraimov, a correspondent for "Grani", was also detained.

"As she was being detained, Zudieva showed the police her press ID and stated that she was on an editorial assignment, but they ignored her reply. The journalist was brought to the Railway District Police Department in Simferopol, where, using threats, they tried to forcibly take her fingerprints and saliva samples. She refused," the report says.

As a result, an administrative case for "participating in a mass simultaneous presence of citizens in a public place near the Supreme Court of Crimea... for the purpose of covering the event in mass media" was opened against the journalist.

"This confirms that the police were aware of Zudieva's status as a reporter," the media outlet notes.

Lutfie Zudieva has been working with "Graty" since its creation in 2019. She covers trials against political prisoners and human rights violations in Crimea. She also writes about the persecution of Ukrainian citizens in Crimea. Zudieva has been reporting on the case of Nariman Celâl and the Ahtemov brothers from the beginning of their prosecution. Today she planned to cover the ending of this story.

"Graty" demand that the journalist and other Crimeans who were illegally detained today near the "Supreme Court" be released immediately.

The media outlet appeals to Ukrainian and international journalistic associations and human rights organizations with a request to come to the defense of the detained journalist and express their solidarity with their fellow reporters persecuted by the Russian authorities in Crimea.

As IMI reported, Russian police in Crimea detained citizen journalists Lutfie Zudieva and Kulamet Ibraimov near the building of the Simferopol Supreme Court on July 27.

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