Appeal of the Experts, Researchers and Journalists Regarding Illegal Detention of Ukrainian Experts in Crimea
We, representatives of the expert, research and journalistic communities, social activists from different countries, strongly protest the tyranny of the Russian authorities, illegal detention and attempts to attribute "terrorist activities" to our colleagues Dmytro Shtyblykov and Oleksiy Bessarabov. Also, we consider unfounded similar accusations against a military pensioner Volodymyr Dudka, captured by the FSB together with the above-mentioned experts.
Dmytro Shtyblykov, Oleksiy Bessarabov and Volodymyr Dudka permanently resided in Crimea both before and after annexation of peninsula by Russia in spring 2014. Three Ukrainian citizens were detained by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation on 9 November 2016. They are kept in detention and accused in the preparation of the acts of sabotage against the military and civic infrastructure in Sevastopol. As demonstrated by the materials of the Russian media, physical violence and intimidation are used against detainees.
By the spring of 2014, Dmytro Shtyblykov had been the director on the International Programs of the Center for Assistance to the Geopolitical Problems and Euro-Atlantic Cooperation of the Black Sea Region Studies NOMOS, a non-governmental organization created in Sevastopol in 2003. NOMOS Center published a specialized journal “The Black Sea Security”, where Oleksiy Bessarabov held the position of the deputy chief editor. The journal published articles of not only Ukrainian but foreign experts from Estonia, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, France, Great Britain, Russia…
For almost ten years Shtyblykov and Bessarabov have been engaged in researches of international and regional security issues. During this time, they have produced many professional publications, appeared in the media outlets and in expert meetings.
NOMOS Center periodically organized and participated in international conferences, round tables both in Ukraine and abroad, used to be a partner of many international organizations. Dmytro Shtyblykov and Oleksiy Bessarabov are well known among expert and journalistic circles, dealing with research issues of the Black Sea and Caspian region. Until 2014, they were eminent public persons both in Crimea and beyond.
The core objective of NOMOS Center was to ensure a platform for professional discussions and to prepare impartial analytical materials. Experts and researchers from the Russian Federation or loyal to it participated regularly at conferences and round tables, organized by NOMOS Center, often under the support of international organizations. They also had the possibility for discussion with opponents on the columns of “The Black Sea Security” quarterly. The think tank stopped its work based on the principled position of inadmissibility to re-register the organization under the legislation of the occupant state. Crimea became a place, where free discussions on international security issues are not possible any more, a source of danger and total violation of human rights.
Accusation of formerly well-known experts in the so-called subversion and terroristic activities is absurd and groundless. It is obvious for all colleagues, who used to work together with them and participated at NOMOS Center events.
We are sure, that detainment of experts and resonant allegations against them, like cases of repressions against Crimean Tatars, are politically motivated order of the occupation authorities and an example of violation of human rights. The atmosphere of terror and intimidation dominates today on the Crimean Peninsula. It need to gain more nutrition. In one of his publications in 2009, Dmytro Shtyblykov wrote: “Creation of the climate of fear is an expression of terrorism, its core nature…”. Starting with persecution of expert community representatives, the occupation regime has shown once against its terroristic essence, readiness to neglect human rights and freedoms, discriminate and persecute those, who are not agree with occupation.
We demand that the Russian party put an immediate end to persecution of the Ukrainian citizens on the territory of occupied Crimea and free political prisoners, in particular, our colleagues – Dmytro Shtyblykov and Oleksiy Bessarabov.
We expect that Ukraine will take all possible efforts to defend detained experts and all other innocently repressed victims and use for these purposes potential of international organizations.
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