31.7 Letter from Uris Kurtseitova

No 31 : 17 May 1974

Letter of Uris Zairovna Kurtseitova to the Secretary General of the International Human Rights Federation, Michel Blum.

On 27 November 1973, in Simferopol, the trial started of Dzhemil Kurtseitov, Eivaz Mustafayev and Ridvan Charukhov, charged under Article 206 (rowdy assault). Because one of the victims failed to appear the trial was postponed to 20 December. The results and the course of this trial were still unknown to Kurtseitova at the time she wrote her letter, [see CCE 32]. She tells of the ordeals of the Kurtseitov family after their return to the Crimea and of the history of the “case of assault”.

Dzhemil Kurtseitov was born in 1938 in Karasubazar [Crimea]. In 1944 his family was exiled to the town of Pap in Uzbekistan. His father died at the front. His mother was unable to provide for the children and Dzhemil found himself in a children’s home. From 1954 he worked as a driver in Dushanbe [Tajikistan??]; then he served in the army. After the decree of 1967 the family of D. Kurtseitov decided to move to the Crimea and for this purpose organized a flat exchange.

Trusting in the statement of the chief of OVIR [residence permit section] at the regional police administration that the police would not obstruct the exchange, the family came to the Crimea. The exchange bureau refused to issue the necessary order, however, and did not disguise that the reason was their nationality. The Kurtseitovs went through every possible bureaucratic process but were unable to overcome this lawlessness and at the end of August 1972 bought a house in the hamlet of Spokoinoye. It now turned out that a sale contract was prohibited for them, as well as a residence permit, inclusion on the military register, and obtaining a job. In addition – and Kurtseitova writes about this with especial grief – her children are not allowed to go to school.

The court of the Simferopol district pronounced judgement on 18 September that the purchase of the house was invalid, and this judgement was later upheld by the Regional court.

  1. Z. Kurtseitova writes:

“People’s Judge Mironova demanded that the Crimean Tatars clear out of the Crimea and live in the places to which they had been exiled, or else the most brutal measures would be used against them”. The threat was not an empty one. On 30 November 1972 deportations ensued (see this issue, CCE 31.3). Even after the return of the deported and promises from an official of the Regional Party committee, V. T. Shablayev, the Kurtseitovs were unable to register possession of the house they had bought.

On 27 August a provocation took place, as Kurtseitova believes, which led to the trial. A sheep was stolen from them at night. D. Kurtseitov called Eivaz Mustafayev and Ridvan Charukhov to help him, and after a fight the three of them managed to capture the thieves and hand them over to the police. The following day the police charged Kurtseitov, Mustafayev and Charukhov with rowdy assault and declared that the thieves were the victims.

The Kurtseitovs have three children, the youngest being six months. Mustafayev has two and Charukhov four.

Kurtseitova writes that she cannot find any defence in the USSR and, referring to the fact that the authorities have violated not only the Constitution but also Articles 3, 9, 10, 13a, 23a and 26a of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, requests the intervention of international organizations.

Her address: Simferopol district, Donskoye post office, Spokoinoye.