Politically motivated trials in the occupied Crimea under far-fetched pretexts are closed for Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians who come to support the defendants, Russian lawyer Aleksander Popkov said during a roundtable in Kyiv.

“One of today's infringements upon freedom of speech in the Crimea is connected with Crimean Muslims’ case, in particular Emir-Usain Kuku case. Russian courts together with prosecutors and RF Federal Security Service officers practice such methods as courts closure. Earlier Crimean Tatars used to come to the courts, they organized tea parties during lunch. Investigators were  irritated, so they did not let them in and brought students. But now they close a hall, and a judge declares officially that the trial will be held in private owing to the “severe social and economic situation in the Russian Federation”, the lawyer said.

According to Popkov, “Russia has established a foothold for the development of new repressive technologies in the Crimea."

“We know what is going on with the Crimean Tatars: they are searched and raided. People are imprisoned only for professing Islam and for any activity. They are persecuted and charged with wild crimes”, he said.

Referance: Russian lawyer Aleksander Popkov defended Ukrainian Gennady Afanasyev in the Lefortovo court. Now Popkov defends the Crimean Muslims, accused by Russian invaders for membership in the Hizb ut-Tahrir organization, Crimean journalist Mykola Semena, as well as one of the so-called Ukrainian saboteurs Andriy Zahtei in the Crimea.