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Journalist Lutfiye Zudieva receives a warning from Russian anti-extremism center

07.05.2024, 18:19
Citizen journalist, human rights activist Lutfiye Zudieva. Photo by Illya Tarasov / Krym.Realii
Citizen journalist, human rights activist Lutfiye Zudieva. Photo by Illya Tarasov / Krym.Realii

Crimean human rights activist, journalist Lutfiye Zudieva was handed a warning from the Russian Center for Combating Extremism. Zudieva reported this on Facebook.

She was handed a warning by "a Canköy criminal investigation department superintendent by the name Varfolomeev." He tried to interview Zudieva at the request of the Center for Combating Extremism. Zudieva refused the interview.

According to her, the warning he handed her was written in vague terms.

"This 'document' without any source data, about unspecified possible illegal actions committed at unspecified possible events, should not be handed out, let alone have any legal value, but that is how life here is at the moment," wrote Zudieva.

She noted that this was initiated not by local officers, but by their Simferopol colleagues from the Russia-installed Ministry of Internal Affairs of Crimea, who "use such warnings not at all as a means to prevent crime."

"This is exactly how censorship works, the prohibition to express opinions, the attack on independent advocacy, human rights organizations and mass media," the journalist said.

Persecution of journalist Lurfiye Zudieva

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.

In March 2024, the Russia-controlled Kyiv District Court in Simferopol fined the human rights activist and journalist Lutfiye Zudieva 2,500 rubles (UAH 1,000). Roman Filatov of the Russian Counter-Extremism Center (CEC) charged her with "abuse of freedom of mass information."

According to Zudieva, the judgement was issued without her participation and the court did not review the written objections of the defense. She believes that she is not an offender and as a natural person was not obliged to comply with the requirements, and that the head of the Crimean CEC department Ruslan Shambazov essentially treated her personal Facebook page as a registered media outlet.

In April 2024, a Russian court in Crimea fined the Crimean Tatar human rights activist and citizen journalist Lutfiye Zudieva, finding her guilty of "abusing the freedom of mass information.

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