Farukh Kamalov - Crimean Tatar, former Deputy Minister of Sports in Crimea
On 2 February, 2018 at the Kalanchak checkpoint on the administrative border with the Peninsula of Crimea, Ukraine detained the Crimean Tatar Farukh Kamalov. He served as the Deputy Minister of Sports in the Republic of Crimea from April 2015 to May 2016.
Investigators of the Main Department of the SBU in Crimea opened criminal proceedings against Farukh Kamalov under part 1 of article 111 (state treason) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. He faces from 10 to 15 years in prison. His actions, besides "assistance to a foreign state", were qualified as "transition to the side of the enemy in a state of war or during an armed conflict."
In the SBU’s message it is said: “Farukh Kamalov, being a citizen of Ukraine, from April 21, 2015 to April 21, 2016 held the position of ‘Deputy Minister of Sports of the Republic of Crimea’. Today Kamalov is a member of a working group for the development of the state program ‘Patriotic (military-patriotic) education of citizens of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Crimea’, and also holds the position of Secretary and Deputy Chairman for the legal work of the regional branch of the all-Russian public-state organisation ‘Volunteer society for assistance to the Army, Air Force, and Navy of Russia’. This organization is engaged in the pre-conscription training of young people, and its main goal is to promote the defense of the Russian Federation.”
I.e., the employees of the SBU drew the conclusion that "the activity of this structure aims to violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine". The court examined the evidence base gathered by the investigators of the Security Service, while the prisoner’s lawyer noted multiple violations and the inability to attach evidence to the case. The brother of the detained, Rustam Kamalov, rejects the accusations of the SBU in regards to his brother and said that: "Farukh worked in the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine. Everyone who worked in the civil service, when this situation happened... many were left to work further. You see, it's not our fault that the two countries could not agree here at the policy level. Four years have passed. We can't sit here and wait for the situation to be resolved. It is necessary to move somehow, to live, to feed families".
Since the moment of his detention on February 2, 2018 and to the present time, he has been in custody in the pre-trial detention center without an alternative. The Prosecutor's Office motivates such a tough measure of restraint only by the weight of the article of the charge and the fact that Farukh Kamalov can hide from the court. At the end of May, for the extension of remand in custody, Farukh Kamalov was driven to the Kievsky court of Kherson in a police van for 12 hours under the scorching sun without food and water, which is the equivalent of torture. After the lawyer Valentin Rybin spoke up, the defendant was transported in the police van back to Kherson and from there he was sent to Kiev via a general prison convoy from Odessa.
The court sessions continue, and we continue to monitor the situation.
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