Detained Since: March 27, 2019.
Charges: Organizing terrorist operations (Article 205.5).
Sentence: 14 years in prison.
Biography: Osman Arifmemetov is a citizen journalist who is originally from Simferopol and works with the Crimean Solidarity group. Since 2015, he has been reporting on human rights violations in Crimea and has organized parcel deliveries to Crimean Tatar detainees in pre-trial detention. In March 2019, Russian security agents arrested Arifmemetov in the city of Aksay and conducted a search of his home. Arifmemetov was detained on charges of organizing the operations of a terrorist organization and planning a coup d’état. When he goes to trial, he faces a sentence of up to 20 years of imprisonment. In 2019, he was honored with a Freedom of Speech award from the Crimean Fig Literature Contest. Also, his story “My Deportation” was shortlisted for an award given to Ukrainian language prose. Additionally, the Council of Europe put forth a statement calling for the release of Arifmemetov and others.
Advocate: Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Advocacy Partner: PEN America
- On November 24, 2022, Osman Arifmemetov, Ruslan Suleymanov, and Rustam Sheykhaliev were sentenced to 14 years in prison (November 25, 2022, CPJ).
- Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) released a statement on March 18, 2023, calling for the release of all 14 Crimean Journalists in the Defending Freedoms Project, including Arifmemetov (March 18, 2023, Senate Foreign Relations Committee).