The General Rapporteurs on Human Rights Defenders and Whistleblowers, and on Political Prisoners, of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Emanuelis Zingeris (Lithuania, EPP/CD) and Sunna Ævarsdóttir (Iceland, SOC), have raised concerns about the health of journalist Amet Suleymanov, currently jailed in Russia.
“Mr Suleymanov is a member of the indigenous Crimean Tatar community. He is a citizen journalist for the group Crimean Solidarity, who had reported on searches and detention of Crimean Tatars following the illegal occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014. In October 2021 Mr Suleymanov was given a sentence of 12 years’ imprisonment on charges of participation in a terrorist organisation and plotting to seize power by force. The conviction was widely condemned by human rights organisations as a reprisal for Mr Suleymanov’s legitimate activities,” they said.
“Mr Suleymanov suffers from a range of health conditions, including a serious heart problem. Although he was initially kept under house arrest, in April 2023 Mr Suleymanov was transferred to a pre-trial detention centre. We are very concerned that Mr Suleymanov’s life is being put in danger, following reports that he is being transferred to a prison in a distant part of Russia, and that he has been denied access to important medical supplies.
We urge the Russian authorities to reverse the decision to transfer Mr Suleymanov from house arrest to a prison, ensuring that he has access to adequate medical supplies and medical attention. We also call on the Russian government to secure Mr Suleymanov’s immediate release.”