43.13 Persecution of the Crimean Tatars [Sept-Dec 1976]

<< No 43 : 31 December 1976 >>

On 11 October the Belogorsk district court found Murat Voyenny (CCE 42) guilty of contravening Article 196 of the Ukrainian SSR Criminal Code (“Infringement of the residence regulations”); on 18 October it found Enver Ametov (CCE 42) guilty under the same article. They have both been sentenced to 2 years of banishment from the Crimea.

At the end of October Resmie Yunusova and Memet Seitveliyev and their sick daughter were still living in a tent (CCE 40, 41, 42).

In October 1976 Shaver Chakalova was charged under Article 196 of the Ukrainian SSR Criminal Code. Officials are known to have reproached her for appealing to A. D. Sakharov after the raid on her home (CCE 40). Chakalova’s case was to be heard in the Belogorsk district court on 10 November. Further details are not known to the Chronicle.

The family of Zulfiur Nafeyeva (6 children) bought a house in the village of Voinka, Krasnoperekop district [Crimea] and settled there on 23 September this year. The village soviet refused to register her purchase of the house and later the district court issued an order to evict her.

In a statement (the Chronicle does not know to whom it is addressed) Z. Nafeyeva writes:

On the morning of 19 November 1976 the police arrived in two buses with police-chief Davydov at their head, and threw our belongings and the children onto the street. And they moved a woman into our house who had no right to be there and had nothing to do with the house. And we were left out on the street.

That woman, knowing that she had been settled there unlawfully, took her things and left three days later. The house was left unlocked. The weather was cold. The children and I were on the street. So we carried our things inside and lit the fire to warm the children. Four of the children are at school — they had to do their homework. We spent one night there, but the next morning we were thrown out on the street again. Damp snow was falling. The children, our belongings, everything was in the street. Nobody was paying any attention.

The Asanov family live in the Crimea, where they have been registered since 1968: they came as part of the organized labour recruitment scheme. Some of the family — 65-year-old Zemine Asanova (who has been paralysed for 10 years) and two of her adult daughters — bought a house this autumn in the settlement of Skalistoye, Bakhchisarai district, and started to live there by themselves.

Despite the fact that they are registered in the Crimea, they could not get their purchase registered. On 10 December the police evicted the three women. For almost a day they were driven from one end of the Crimea to the other, as the authorities tried to put the mother into a hospital, but each hospital refused to take her. Finally they put her into the hospital in the village of Lobanovo, Dzhankoi district. They separated her from her daughters by force, as the latter were demanding that they should all be taken back to their home. Both daughters were put under arrest for 10 days, for “resisting the police”.

After their eviction the Asanovs’ household effects were taken to the village of Krymka, Dzhankoi district, and thrown out on the street, in the mud, while a Russian family which had recently arrived from Uzbekistan was settled in their house.

Refat Asanov, the son of the evicted Zemine Asanova, was living in the village of Krymka. He could not get Basov, chairman of the village soviet, to tell him who had arranged their eviction or where she and her daughters were. Only after three days, when he had driven round a number of hospitals and police stations, did he find his mother.

On 11 December, when he was still searching for his mother and sisters, Asanov tried to send a telegram to Brezhnev, but the village post-office in Krymka refused to accept it. A few days later, Asanov sent Brezhnev a letter, describing what had happened and stating:

All this took place on the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. How is that to be understood? How can this unprecedented act of violence be reconciled with socialist democracy and socialist humanitarian principles? …

  1. I demand that my mother and sisters be released immediately and returned to their home.
  2. I ask that those who carried out and organized this act of violence should be punished.
  3. Those who carried out this act of violence should be made to pay compensation for the damage done.

According to information received at the end of December, this last autumn almost all the Crimean Tatars living in the Crimea without residence permits have been taken to court and found guilty. Some were sentenced to pay large fines.

On 15 December 1976 about 50 Crimean Tatars came on a reception day to the Crimea Region soviet executive committee, but they were not given an audience. (For previous such mass visits to the executive committee see CCE 38, 42).

Ayshe Seitmuratova, who was sent to Tashkent from Simferopol by force on 5 September (CCE 42), returned to Simferopol in the middle of September and handed in a protest to the regional procurator’s office. The protest was forwarded to the Crimean Region KGB department. At KGB headquarters Seitmuratova was received by the same two men who had expelled her from the region: on 5 September one of them had shown her a card stating he was a junior lieutenant of police, while the other — who now turned out to be KGB official N. I. Petrov — had not given any proof of identity.

Seitmuratova learnt that one of her demands — compensation for the material loss she had suffered — had been satisfied. She was given back the money she had spent on her forced journey by air from Tashkent to Moscow and from Moscow to Simferopol.