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Human rights activists call for an investigation into Lutfiye Zudieva's detention in Crimea

23.02.2024, 11:45

Several Ukrainian human rights organizations call on the Ukrainian authorities to investigate the unlawful search and detention of public activist, human rights advocate, and citizen journalist Lutfiye Zudieva in Russian-occupied Crimea.

The organizations released their statement on the ZMINA Human Rights Center website.

On February 22, 2024, officers of Russia's Center for Combating Extremism searched Lutfiye Zudieva's house. After the search, she was taken away to the counter-extremism center, but later released.

The police opened an administrative case against her under Parts 2 and 2.1 of Art. 13.15 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation (abuse of freedom of mass information).

The investigation was triggered by her Facebook post about the unlawful persecution of alleged Hizb ut-Tahrir members, as she did not mention that Hizb ut-Tahrir is considered a terrorist organization by Russia, and also cited a Radio Liberty article without noting that the media outlet is considered a "foreign agent" by Russian law.

Lutfiye Zudieva is a public activist, human rights advocate and journalist covering trials and mass searches in Crimea and supporting the families of political prisoners.

Lutfiye Zudieva has already been detained by the occupiers in June 2023. Back then she was fined 12 thousand rubles.

The activists believe that the search, detention and administrative penalty is yet another attempt by the Russian occupation authorities to intimidate Lutfiye Zudieva and other human rights advocates in Crimea and silence them.

The statement call on the Ukrainian authorities to investigate the unlawful search and detention of Lutfiye Zudieva and bring the culprits to justice, as well as to initiate targeted sanctions against the persons involved in her persecution.

The human rights advocates call on the democratic governments around the world for a strong, consolidated protest against the politically motivated persecution of Lutfiye Zudieva and other public activists, human rights advocates and journalists in the occupied Crimea. They also call for targeted sanctions against the persons involved in Zudieva's persecution and for an increase in systematic pressure on Russia.

The statement was signed by: Crimean Human Rights Group, Human Rights Center ZMINA, NGO "KRYMSOS", NGO "Crimean Process", Human Rights Center "Diya", Center for Civil Liberties, Association of Relatives of Political Prisoners of the Kremlin, Platform for the Release of Political Prisoners, Ukrainian Helsinki Union for Human Rights, Center for Civil Education "Almenda", Regional Center for Human Rights, Human Rights House Crimea, Human Rights Education House – Chernihiv, Media Initiative for Human Rights, Ukrainian Legal Advisory Group and CF "Skhid SOS".

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