Prisoner of Conscience: Nasrulla Seidaliyev, Ukraine
Nasrulla Seidaliyev is a 62-year-old Crimean Tatar activist from the Kherson region in Ukraine. He is a deputy head of the Kherson Regional Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people (the representative body of the Crimean Tatar people).
At the beginning of March 2022, shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, Seidaliyev was detained by Russian security forces in Simferopol, the second-largest city in the Crimean Peninsula.
His lawyer said that Seidaliyev had been accused of participating in an armed group for his alleged involvement in the Noman Chelebidzhikhan battalion, which was established by Crimean Tatar volunteers following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimean in 2014 and operates in Ukraine’s Kherson region. Moscow deems the group as a terrorist organization and has declared its members wanted men.
The Kherson region was occupied by Russian forces between March and November 2022, when the Ukrainian army regained control of the area. Even after the withdrawal of the Russian army, however, very little is known about the case against Seidaliyev and his whereabouts.
In the meantime, local human rights advocates estimate that around ten Crimean Tatars, including Seidaliyev, have been arrested because of their alleged involvement with the Battalion. Human rights watchdogs are concerned that Seidaliyev and these others have been subject to political persecution, and they will not have access to a fair judicial process.
Crimean Tatar activists have been targeted by Russian authorities since Moscow illegally annexed the peninsula in 2014. Since then, a number of Crimean Tatars have been detained on false charges or sentenced in politically motivated trials.
Disclaimer: As of December 12, 2022, research shows Nasrulla Seidaliyev is currently in custody.
Prisoners of Conscience from East and Southeast Europe
We feature select few prisoners of conscience out of the many in East and Southeast Europe. One political prisoner is one too many.
Find out who the other political prisoners are #PrisonersofConscience #FreeThemAll and in the special Focus on our website.