Yashar Muedinov

Yashar Muedinov

“I was immediately impressed with his attitude towards children and his overall kind treatment of other people,” said Naile Muedinova, the wife of political prisoner and of Crimean Solidarity activist Yashar Muedinov, says. “He has never ignored a single call for help, supported prisoners’ families and sent care packages to pre-trial detention facilities.”

Yashar Muedinov, father of eight children, was arrested on March 27, 2019.

He is facing 20 years in prison –on charges of “terrorism” and “preparation for violent take-over”. The political prisoner himself is convinced that his ordeal is part of Russia’s political persecution of Crimean Tatars.

“It was six in the morning, and we were all sleeping. We heard loud knocking on the windows and doors, and my husband opened. They immediately took away all our means of communication so that we could not call anyone. They also took all our devices,” Naile Muedinova recalls from that day.
Several days after the arrest, Yashar was brought with other detained Crimean Tatars to an unknown location. 

“We did not know where they were transferred to, where they disappeared. Only several days later, we found out through defense lawyers that Yashar was taken to the town of Shakhty in Rostov region,” Naile recounts. “I did not know what happened to him and in what conditions he was being kept – for half a year, I had absolutely no contact with him.”

Currently, Yashar Muedinov is undergoing the final stage of a compulsory forensic psychiatric examination. In fact, he has been kept in psychiatric detention for many weeks now. International organizations have made statements condemning the wide use of punitive psychiatry by Russia in annexed Crimea against opponents of the annexation.

Yashar’s health has deteriorated in prison. “His legs swell, and he cannot stand for a long time. He also has stomach problems, headaches, and back aches. At our own risk and expense, we buy medications and send them to him; we ‘self-medicate him’,” Naile says. 

“Our second daughter cried bitterly every evening after the arrest saying she wanted to see her father. The younger child began to cry with her. I can only let myself cry at night when the kids cannot see,” Naile Muedinova shares. “Our faith and enormous support from other people help a lot. They give me strength”.