Crimea’s forgotten victims

Russian occupying forces are targeting the Tatar community, writes Janek Lasocki

The World Today Published 5 December 2018 Updated 8 June 2021 3 minute READ

Janek Lasocki

Programme Officer, Sigrid Rausing Trust

It was early morning on May 21, 2018, when masked men from the security services burst into the home of Server Mustafayev, a Crimean Tatar in the town of Bakhchyserai.

Armed with automatic rifles they searched the house, also inhabited by elderly relatives and four children. Mustafayev’s lawyer rushed to the scene, but was physically prevented from going inside. Meanwhile, a crowd of concerned neighbours gathered and saw Mustafayev being thrust into a police car and driven away. Among them was his third son Yusuf who was crying.

Although ostensibly arrested on terrorism-related charges, Mustafayev was actually detained for his work at Crimean Solidarity, a community organization founded to help political prisoners and their families.

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