Jailed Mejlis official vows to continue fighting against Crimea occupation

Jailed Mejlis official vows to continue fighting against Crimea occupation

Nariman Dzhelyalov, First Deputy Chairman of Crimean Tatars’ Mejlis, earlier arrested in the occupied Crimea, says he intends to continue his struggle against Crimea occupation even while in prison, by all means available.

That’s according to Dzhelyalov's letter his lawyer Nikolay Polozov posted on Facebook, Ukrinform reports.

"I was ready for such developments and, following in the footsteps of my elder brothers, I have no intention to shift from my own beliefs! I’ll continue to fight in the ways available to me here in prison. During a search of my home, the officer conducting it said, among other things: ‘Your weapon is your word, which is much more dangerous.’ So my ‘weapon’ is with me," Dzhelyalov wrote.

According to the Mejlis official, he doesn’t intend to step off the chosen path and renounce his position as Crimean Tatars’ representative.

Read also: Crimea "court" takes Mejlis deputy chair into custody on trumped-up sabotage charges

"Eight years ago, you, my people, delegated to me the right to represent your interests. I was awarded a high status and responsibility, in the face of which I could not remain silent and hide. I consciously chose this path and I won’t step off of it. My beloved wife, my close friends, all my people, and the whole world are with me. And no walls can change that," said Dzhelyalov.

He also called on Crimean Tatars not to give up and to continue the struggle.

"My people, don’t believe hypocritical whistleblowers who might persuade you that the victim of violence is the one who’s guilty of violence against them! They will say that I was ‘exposed’ that, had I sat there quietly, I would’ve still been home with my family. But we must not act like that. Do not give up! Whatever they’ve done to me must not sow fear in you as this is among their goals,” the political prisoner wrote.

As Ukrinform reported earlier, on September 3 and 4, security forces conducted a number of illegal searches in Crimean Tatars’ homes in the occupied Crimea before they detained Nariman Dzhelyalov, First Deputy Chairman of the Crimean Tatar People's Mejlis, as well as activists Eldar Odamanov, Aziz and Asan Akhtemovs, and Shevket Useinov.

Read also: Ukraine at UN calls on world to respond to Dzhelyalov’s arrest in occupied Crimea

On September 6, the Simferopol District Court ordered that Dzhelyalov and the Akhtemov brothers be held in custody until November 4. Adamanov and Useinov were ruled to be held for 14 and 15 days, respectively, for resisting police.

The prosecutors then amended the charges initially pressed against Nariman Dzhelyalov, illegally detained in the occupied Crimea. He is now being accused of committing an attack on a gas pipe feeding a military unit in Crimea (instead of the earlier charges of aiding and abetting the crime).

On September 10, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a statement calling on the international community to condemn yet another wave of repression against Crimean Tatars in the occupied Crimea.


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