Virtual museum of Russian aggression.

Virtual museum of Russian aggression.



Civic position

Ervin Ibragimov was born in 1985 in Crimea. In Bakhchysaray, he was a member of the executive committee of the World Congress of the Crimean Tatars and a member of the regional Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People.  

Ervin led a fairly active social life and was noticeable among Crimean Tatar activists. He loved football. From 2011 to 2013, together with his team in Bakhchysaray, he won three cups in a row in the Mejlis Cup tournament.

In 2012 he was elected a member of Bakhchysaray city council. He ran in a constituency where there was practically no chance of winning. Crimean Tatars made up only 17% of the voters there. At the same time, Ervin successfully passed the test for the position of a legal counsel at the agricultural department.

Ibragimov has always been actively pro-Ukrainian and participated in the Euromaidan protests in Kyiv. On February 26, together with other citizens, Ervin joined a rally under the walls of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea in support of territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Following the occupation of Crimea, Ervin Ibragimov remained true to his own values. Despite the promotion promised by the so-called "authorities", Ervin resigned from the civil service and began working in the Bakhchysaray branch of the Mejlis where he became the right hand of Ilmi Umerov, deputy chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People. Ervin would support the Crimean political prisoners during trials and come to the places of mass searches.


Enforced disappearances in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol


Activism in the occupied Crimea comes at a price

On 05/25/2016, Ervin Ibragimov was preparing for a trip to Sudak where he intended to attend a trial of four Crimean Tatar activists in the Russian-controlled town "court". They were tried for taking part in a motor rally with national symbols on May 18 – the anniversary of deportation of the Crimean Tatars.

However, the day before, on 05/24/2016, he was kidnapped. Late in the evening, on the bypass road in Bakhchysaray, not far from his house, his car was stopped by people in the uniform of the Russian road police driving a white Ford Transit van. Ervin called his father to find out if he left the documents for his car at home. A few minutes later, Umer Ibragimov called back, but his son’s phone was already off.


A video surveillance camera on one of the shops recorded the kidnapping. The footage shows how Ibragimov tried to escape, but the people shove him into the van. The van then takes off towards the Bakhchysaray water reservoir through the forest.

The day after, the father of Ervin Ibragimov found his son's car with the glove compartment and the doors open, the keys still in the ignition slot. Umer Ibragimov called the police. The so-called "law enforcement officers" examined the car, took fingerprints, drew up a report and drove away.


Long before the kidnapping, Ibragimov would tell Ilmi Umerov, one of the Mejlis leaders, about a white Skoda car with "350" on its license plate (Voronezh Oblast) tailing him. According to Ervin Ibragimov's father, this was not the first attempt at kidnapping. Ervin was coming back home from his friends late in the evening of 05/23/2016. Umer Ibragimov claims there is video footage made on that day showing Ervin being followed a stranger was watching him from around the corner. The car that was tailing Ervin took off at full speed after him with its headlights off. But the road was potholed, so the kidnappers failed to catch up.

"Where is Ervin?" – searching for the kidnapped activist

The day after the disappearance of his son, Umer Ibragimov turned to the police in Bakhchysaray. He also wrote a statement addressed to Natalia Poklonskaya, the so-called "prosecutor" of Crimea, asking her to organize a search for the missing person and offering her the kidnapping footage.


However, attempts of Ibragimov's relatives to file a request with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) proved futile. No one would watch the video of the incident either. Umer Ibragimov had to send a statement and the video of the kidnapping to the FSB by mail.

Only on the third day after the enforced disappearance, the so-called Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for Crimea would opened a criminal case under clause A and clause B of Part 2 of Article 126 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Kidnapping).


On 06/01/2016, a resident of Bakhchysaray found Ibragimov’s passport, employment record book and driver’s license near the Arpat bar.


On 06/07/2016, the missing activist was put on the all-Russian search list. According to Poklonskaya, there were witnesses who saw him alive and well on the territory of the peninsula a month later.


It took Ervin's parents, relatives and friends over two months to organize a search on their own. They interviewed friends, examined sites all over town and deserted places. They printed and distributed leaflets with information about the search; put up posters in apartment buildings, but unidentified persons always tore them down.


Relatives even offered 1 million rubles in ransom for Ervin. The father received about 25 messages demanding ransom for the release of his son.


Relatives complain that law enforcement agencies are not making sufficient efforts to investigate the enforced disappearance and to identify the perpetrators or the whereabouts of the victim.

The so-called "authorities" would not allow the relatives to study the case file. All the while, they came up with three versions of the reasons for the disappearance: kidnapping for ransom, commercial activities of Ervin Ibragimov, and kidnapping with the intent to destabilize the situation in Crimea and slander the "law enforcement agencies of Crimea".


As early as 06/27/2016, activists picketed the Russian Embassy in Kyiv, demanding to start an effective investigation of the Ervin Ibragimov case. This event set in motion the Find and Free campaign of monthly performances to draw attention to the problem of enforced disappearances in the temporarily occupied Crimea.

Participants of the Youth Qurultay of the Crimean Tatars drew attention to the case in their own way. They recorded a video message with words of support to the family of the kidnapped activist.


Having no trust in the Russian investigating authorities, Ervin's mother Lilya Ibragimova wrote a letter to the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, asking him to influence the situation with the search for her son.


Numerous inquiries of the family's lawyer Emil Kurbedinov yielded no response from the so-called "investigative bodies" of Crimea. In October 2017, the lawyer filed a request for information in the criminal case of Ervin's kidnapping. They only got the answer in March 2018, following a relevant court ruling.


On 03/26/2018, the so-called Kyivsky District Court of Simferopol considered the complaint of the lawyer about the inaction of the investigating authorities which did not respond to inquiries. All complaints were rejected, but the lawyer found out during the hearing that the case had been suspended on 09/25/2017, and it had been allegedly communicated to Umer Ibragimov, the father of the activist. The latter said that he never received any notifications. Without access to the investigation file, the lawyer and the relatives of Ervin Ibragimov were unable to apply for further investigation.


On 09/13/2018, in his speech at the plenary session of the OSCE human rights conference in Warsaw, Umer Ibragimov expressed confidence that his son had been kidnapped by the state authorities of Russia for his active civic stance and the stand for the rights of the Crimean Tatar People.


In 2020, lawyers of the public organization CrimeaSOS and the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union filed a complaint with the ECHR against the Russian Federation in the case of the enforced disappearance of Ervin Ibragimov.


Under the procedural management of the Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea  and the city of Sevastopol, a pre-trial investigation is underway in criminal proceedings on the offense under Part 1 Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine on the fact of enforced disappearance of a member of the regional Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People E. Ibragimov in the temporarily occupied territory of the Crimean peninsula.


Published on 2021-09-01



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