11:14 12.08.2017

Crimean court upholds administrative arrest of 76-year-old protester with Parkinson's disease

The Supreme Court of Crimea ruled on Friday evening to turn down an appeal by the defense team for Server Karametov, 76, against a lower court ruling on his 10-day arrest for disobeying police during a solo demonstration in support for deputy head of the Majilis of Crimean Tatars (banned in Russia) Akhtem Chiygoz.

"Our appeal has been turned down, Server Karametov will spend ten days in prison on an absolutely farfetched charge. I am sure this is an act of intimidation," lawyer Emil Kurbedinov said after leaving the courthouse.

The defense will not further appeal the case in Russian courts and is determined to address international organizations, including the European Court of Human Rights, Kurbedinov said.

Karametov appeared with a banner in support for Chiygoz near the Supreme Court of Crimea while the latter was hearing the presentation of arguments in Chiygoz's case on August 8. Police detained him and charged him with violation of the rules of holding a public event and refusal to obey a lawful demand of a police official.

The Zheleznodorozhny District Court of Simferopol heard the police reports on August 8 and 9 and fined Karametov 10,000 rubles on the first count and put him under arrest on the second count on the evening of August 9.

Amnesty International demanded that Karametov, who has Parkinson's disease, be freed.

Lawyers said Karametov suffers from severe motor system disorder and glaucoma.

Chiygoz has been charged with organizing mass disturbances at a rally near the Crimean parliament building in Simferopol on February 26, 2014, in the run-up to a fake referendum on Crimea's joining Russia, when two people were killed and 79 others injured in a clash between activists of the Russian Unity party and Cossacks on one side and Mejilis supporters on the other.

The court heard the presentation of arguments on August 7-9. The prosecution asked the court to sentence Chiygoz to eight years in prison, and his lawyer Nikolai Polozov insisted on his acquittal.

The court is expected to deliver a sentence in the case on September 11.

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